If the victory achieved by a Scotland development team over the best Canada could muster on Saturday served any purpose at all it was to demonstrate the difficulty World Rugby’s administrators face in seeking to come up with tour schedules that will help develop the international game.

Seven tries, including a hat-trick for hooker George Turner, generated a 48-10 victory which some felt flattered the Scots, but was pretty much as straightforward as the scoreline suggests once they had established that sound basics would be more than sufficient against a group of individuals that looked like anything but a cohesive team.

What is ever more clear is that a lack of exposure to the regular fixtures at the required level has seen Canada regress from a nation which, when the sport was becoming professional 20 years or so ago, looked like it had the potential to become a major competitor on the global stage.

Yet even when we were watching Canada beat Scotland in Vancouver, those of us who toured there 16 years ago could see there were major problems off the field in terms of the amateurish way the sport continued to be run. Whereas change in that regard has been forced by professionalism in the major rugby nations, Canada has effectively become a back-water, capable of producing fine individual players, such as Glasgow Warriors winger DTH van der Merwe who was as combative as ever on Saturday before injury removed him from the fray, but with little chance of forming competitive teams.

All sorts of claims will meanwhile be made about the benefit to Scotland of having the chance to blood youngsters in what is officially described as the Test arena, but England, France, Ireland and Wales are surely getting far more from the Test series they are engaged in this summer, just as they have in previous years.

What Saturday also served to remind us was just how much of a loss Dan McFarland may prove to be at the worst possible time for Scottish rugby, at the start of World Cup year, the work overseen by the Ulster-bound forwards specialist that allowed them to impose themselves on their opponents as they did.

Pushing their opponents off the ball in important scrums and commanding the lineout when they needed to was the most fundamental part of that, but by the end the driving maul was virtually unimpeded such was the technical differential.

By all accounts they will face a tougher challenge this week, the North American balance of power having shifted since 2002 when the embarrassment of defeat by Canada was addressed as, in spite of Nathan Hines becoming the first Scotland player to be red carded in a Test match, Scotland rattled in 10 tries in subjecting the USA to a hiding in San Francisco. 

It will probably need to be given the very different nature of the way the Pumas are preparing for the following week’s encounter with fiercely contested matches against the Welsh.