"He is just a good bloke." Johnnie Beattie's ringing endorsement of the Scotland head coach goes a long way to explaining why the players who could hardly win a game in the Six Nations are suddenly able to hammer Argentina and stand toe-to-toe with New Zealand.
Vern Cotter bills himself as "just a Kiwi farmer" and he yesterday gave voice to the pragmatism that background implies by admitting that he would not have made any changes to the Scotland team that started against both Argentina and New Zealand over the past two weekends had matters not been taken out of his hands.
As Rugby Park was being transformed for the final viagogo Autumn Test against Tonga on Saturday, Tim Visser, the Scotland winger, admitted he will be out for revenge in Kilmarnock when he makes his return to the side.
Scotland have paid a heavy price for Saturday's combative performance against the All Blacks at BT Murrayfield with team officials confirming that a number of players picked up injuries in the course of the 24-16 defeat by the world champions.
As he ponders his selection strategy for next Saturday's clash with Tonga in Kilmarnock Vern Cotter, the Scotland coach, might reflect on the fact he would probably still be sipping pastis in the Clermont Ferrand sunshine had Andy Robinson got that part of the job right a couple of years ago.
Stuart Hogg's upbringing in rugby could be described as a process of total immersion, but the Hawick-bred full-back admitted that Scotland's 1-0 victory over the Republic of Ireland in their Euro 2016 qualifier on Friday evening had refocused his thinking on what it means to play for your country.
VERN Cotter last night heaped praise on the effort and attitude of his Scotland players after they ran the All Blacks so close at Murrayfield, declaring they will learn from the experience and become even better as a result.