Scotland's Test squad arrived in Wellington buoyed by the development side's victory over NSW Country but with a firm point to prove of their own.
Matt Williams' side have not won a Test match since beating Fiji in the last minute at the World Cup and even slipped behind Samoa in the world rankings after claiming the RBS 6 Nations wooden spoon.
It will be ninth versus 10th at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, Samoa's home from home and a "lion's den" for the Scots.
"Our real fear is our track record going into a Test against a side ranked the same as us in the world," admitted lock Stuart Grimes.
"Samoa are getting pretty good at the moment. We have had a build-up of losses and it definitely provides an added pressure on us to prove ourselves.
"We are fired up and excited about the game."
The task would have been made even harder had Samoa decided to play the game at home, a part of the world infamous for Scotland in recent times after their 51-26 defeat to Fiji in Suva in 1998.
Grimes, Scott Murray and Gordon Bulloch are the only survivors from that match and the Newcastle lock knows full well that the islander nations are no longer sides to be dismissed as hard-hitting fancy dans.
Scotland overcame Samoa at the 1999 World Cup by keeping it tight and simple - but the same tactic will not be enough this time.
"In that World Cup play-off for the quarter-final, our plan was lineout drives, pick and goes, structured play and we killed them that way with the kicking game," recalled Grimes.
"That is how it has been in the past, but I think they are catching up pretty quickly through their coaching, so it will be hard."
Samoa's new coach Michael Jones, the former All Blacks flanker, has been working on creating a more structured style to their forward play while maintaining that traditional island flair and has brought the likes of legendary winger Inga Tuigamala on board to act as mentor to his players.
The nucleus of the Samoa squad were at the World Cup and performed admirably but Jones has worked hard on introducing local talent and last week's 24-14 victory over Tonga was carved out by eight penalties from 22-year-old debutant fly-half Roger Warren.
"The Samoans are a very physical, very powerful group," said Williams.
"They are well coached from Michael Jones and John Boe. They have probably been the big improvers in world rugby in the last 12 months and their performance against Tonga was not a surprise to us."
In what has not been the smoothest of tours with injuries causing almost daily disruptions, the Test squad have taken heart from the development side's 48-10 victory against NSW Country.
After seven successive defeats it was a first victory for Williams as Scotland coach and now his players are out to break the Test duck.