Allan Jacobsen will win his 50th cap against Samoa on Saturday with Scotland on a high after the win over South Africa, but the surprise defeat which marked his first Scotland appearance is a constant reminder of what can go wrong for the Edinburgh prop.
Jacobsen made his Scotland debut as a substitute in a loss to Canada in Vancouver in June 2002 and it has taught him to seize every opportunity. The Edinburgh loosehead is proud to have reached the half-century milestone after being named in the Scotland side for Saturday's third EMC Autumn Test in Aberdeen, but is focused on winning.
"It obviously means a lot to me. I've played for a long time and it's eight years since I got my first cap," said the 32-year-old. "A lot of people say it's just a number, but it's been a big target for me in the last couple of years. I feel happy that I've done it, but it won't really mean anything unless we go out there and beat Samoa on Saturday."
Jacobsen said his debut "wasn't a great day for Scottish rugby", but he has been at the forefront of so many of the good days in recent times.
His scrummaging troubled the Springboks, world champions in 2007, in the 21-17 win at Murrayfield, while he has performed with distinction in tight and in the loose as Scotland have recorded wins over Australia, Ireland and Argentina (twice) in little more than a year.
"The last year we've got some good results and we have improved," added Jacobsen. "Maybe in the last Six Nations we could have got a couple of results we didn't get - we've got to take the wins when they're there in front of us."