Since landing that title, Scotland had returned to their more recognised position of mid-table in the 1991 Five Nations, having won both home matches and losing on their travels. However, with the potential to play all their matches up to the semi-final at Murrayfield, they had the opportunity to take advantage of that good home form in the World Cup.
Scotland cruised through their first two matches, first disposing of Japan 47-9 and then Zimbabwe 51-12.
Ireland were their third opponents, with victory required to ensure that Scotland would face Western Samoa at Murrayfield in the quarter-finals.
The Irish threatened to cause an upset and led by fifteen points to nine early in the second half, before Scotland upped the tempo. Aided by tries from Graeme Shiel and Gary Armstrong they eventually overhauled their visitors to seal a 24-15 success.
The hard-tackling Western Samoans were emerging as the surprise element of the tournament, having already beaten Wales and only narrowly lost to one of the pre-tournament favourites, Australia.
Playing at home in the semi-final undoubtedly gave Scotland their best ever chance of a place on the biggest stage of all - the World Cup final - although with England as opponents, it was no easy task. Crowds at Murrayfield for the pool games and the quarter-final had been disappointing in comparison to those at other venues, but with the Auld Enemy in town, tickets were at a premium for the semi-final.
Having lost their Grand Slam decider the year before, England had avenged that defeat at Twickenham earlier in the season and were now seeking to erase those memories completely by winning at Murrayfield.
Page: 1 2