Scotland hammered Russia 61-0 as they claimed the crucial World Cup bonus-point win to set up a do-or-die showdown with Japan on Sunday.
Gregor Townsend's team needed to take maximum points from their clash with the Bears in Shizuoka to give themselves the best possible chance of making the quarter-finals, and they did just that thanks to a stunning nine-try demolition job.
George Horne became the first Scottish scrum-half to score a hat-trick after Adam Hastings put the Dark Blues ahead with a quick-fire early double.
George Turner, Tommy Seymour, John Barclay and Stuart McInally also scored in a resounding win that now leaves Scotland needing victory over the hosts in Yokohama in four days' time to seal their place in the last eight.
The returning Barclay admitted Scotland's collective nerves were jangling ahead of the match but they have now received a confidence boost before the decisive clash with Japan.
He told ITV: "We enjoyed that one. Sometimes these games get a bit scrappy and we were a bit nervous coming into the game but we prepared really well.
"The boys were professional and we came away with a good result."
Barclay, who was captain against Russia, felt the much-changed side did not affect how they played.
"We have been together so long the boys wanted to put in a good shift and some boys put their hand up for four days' time."
Ireland are currently second in Pool A ahead of their crunch clash with Samoa in Fukuoka on Saturday.
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