/ RWC Japan 2019

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Wanderer100 21 Sep 2019

Rugby World Cup 2019 is up and running and already some cracking games. Heart says England, head says New Zealand.

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The New NickB 21 Sep 2019
In reply to Wanderer100:

England have a hard route, will have to beat NZ and SA. I think SA might be a threat.

Sad to read of Chester Williams death earlier this month.

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balmybaldwin 21 Sep 2019
In reply to The New NickB:

Some interesting results so far.

I thought Russia's defence yesterday was very good for such an undeveloped team, and Japan didn't look as much of a threat as they did last rwc but job doen on a nervy day - hopefully they'll cut out the errors

Now for the biggest match of the weekend!

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BnB 21 Sep 2019
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Great match unfolding now between Saffers and All Blacks

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Tyler 21 Sep 2019
In reply to Wanderer100:

As a Wales supporter I'm worried. Hopefully Fiji tired themselves out!

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Tringa 21 Sep 2019
In reply to Wanderer100:

Of the three matches today, all were good, but two were great.

When they are on form, as they were much of the game today, who would not want the Argentinian forwards?

The All Blacks v South Africa  - it is early days but I think the rest have to rise to this standard.

Dave

Post edited at 18:33
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Jack Frost 21 Sep 2019
In reply to Wanderer100:

All four matches have been entertaining enough so far but I'd like some deviation from the script; it all seems so predictable. How long will we have to wait for the first upset? Argentina came closest but Lopez made the right decision at the right time with his DG. I can't see anything unscripted happening tomorrow: Wins for Italy, Ireland, England. ZZZZZZZZZZZZ

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Wanderer100 22 Sep 2019
In reply to Jack Frost:

I wonder what the odds were on that happening? The Ireland v Scotland game being the most closely matched? 

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BnB 22 Sep 2019
In reply to Wanderer100:

England won’t have worried the stronger sides with that performance. Some great talent and good depth but not particularly cohesive or disciplined.

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Wanderer100 22 Sep 2019
In reply to BnB:

Early days! 

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BnB 22 Sep 2019
In reply to Wanderer100:

> Early days! 

Perhaps. But, on several occasions, England failed to come away from the Tongan line with any reward to show for it. Compare that with Ireland, who were ruthlessly efficient every time they breached the Scots' 10m line. A tougher ask in theory. Although Scotland were very poor today.

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Dr.S at work 22 Sep 2019
In reply to BnB:

Radical difference in game seriousness - and I saw the all blacks knock on a few balls in slimey conditions just like England did today. 

The Slade/Daly butchering was bad though.

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BnB 22 Sep 2019
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> Radical difference in game seriousness - and I saw the all blacks knock on a few balls in slimey conditions just like England did today. 

Slimy conditions? England played under a closed roof!

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Dr.S at work 22 Sep 2019
In reply to BnB:

And what was the RH?

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Wanderer100 22 Sep 2019
In reply to BnB:

Scotland were particularly poor. The only player who lived up to his usual standard was Stuart Hogg.  Having said that Ireland were particularly efficient and a very different team to the one that was walloped by England a few weeks ago. 

I'm not too disappointed with England's performance.  They did what they had to do and need to iron out a few wrinkles in their ball handling and reduce the penalty count against them. The next game will be the more of a test but will provide a clearer picture of where England are heading in this tournament.  

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Tringa 23 Sep 2019
In reply to Wanderer100:

England did score tries but their performance wasn't that great. Did NZ put 90 points+ past Tonga a while back?

Thought both the All Blacks and Springboks looked good and the two best teams so far.

Dave

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BnB 23 Sep 2019
In reply to Tringa:

> Thought both the All Blacks and Springboks looked good and the two best teams so far.

I was impressed with Ireland. They don't do pretty rugby but the pack was outstanding.

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Tringa 25 Sep 2019
In reply to BnB:

Yes, I agree. They did what was needed very well. I can't remember how matches pan out but Ireland v NZ or SA would be a great game to see.

Dave

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Wanderer100 27 Sep 2019
In reply to Wanderer100:

A much better performance by England. Especially in the second half. Much bigger tests to come of course. The France game in 2 werks will be a good measure of where England really are.

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Dr.S at work 28 Sep 2019
In reply to Wanderer100:

Japan love a green shirt, think they might get blue as well?

Post edited at 10:12
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BnB 28 Sep 2019
In reply to Dr.S at work:

The World Cup has certainly come alight today. What a performance!!

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Lemony 28 Sep 2019
In reply to Dr.S at work:

Wow, superhuman discipline and work rate. 

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Dr.S at work 28 Sep 2019
In reply to Lemony:

Very similar to their performance against the Boks - love the way they play.

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BnB 29 Sep 2019
In reply to Wanderer100:

And an even better match this morning. Fantastic effort by both sides.

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Wanderer100 29 Sep 2019
In reply to BnB:

It was a great game but somewhat spoiled by the referees having to check every tackle to determine if legal or not. I'm all for protecting the players against head injuries but the penalty against Australia when Patchall went down was a poor decision. I thought Australia were unlucky to lose but having said that, Foley was awful for Australia. 

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BnB 29 Sep 2019
In reply to Wanderer100:

Yes. I agree on all points. Australia unfortunate to lose. Hooper magnificent and well supported by a very mobile front row.

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Welsh Kate 29 Sep 2019
In reply to BnB:

Yeah, game of the tournament so far.

Quite happy this side of the bridge ;-)

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Wanderer100 29 Sep 2019
In reply to Welsh Kate:

> Yeah, game of the tournament so far.

> Quite happy this side of the bridge ;-)

And so you should be. You wait 13 odd years for a win against the convicts and then 2 turn up in less than 12 Months!

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FactorXXX 29 Sep 2019
In reply to Welsh Kate:

> Yeah, game of the tournament so far.
> Quite happy this side of the bridge ;-)

I'm currently living the wrong side of the bridge and am also happy. 

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Moley 29 Sep 2019
In reply to Welsh Kate:

> Yeah, game of the tournament so far.

> Quite happy this side of the bridge ;-)

Nail biting second half, well done boys, especially Alun who is hardly a boy anymore.

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the sheep 30 Sep 2019
In reply to Welsh Kate:

Having drawn Wales in our works sweepstake im very happy.

Also having Hooper whinge to the ref about not being allowed to tackle was priceless. And Cheika moaning that he doesn't know the rules anymore, they say us English are whinging poms 

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Moley 05 Oct 2019
In reply to Wanderer100:

I do so enjoy games that Nigel is refereeing, always good for a quote.

First 10 minutes "a little less cockiness and a little more scrummaging please lads".

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BnB 05 Oct 2019
In reply to Wanderer100:

Great win in a tough game for the Brave Blossoms. But what were Samoa thinking with that scrum in extra time? Any Scots care to raise conspiracy theories? No one would blame you.

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FactorXXX 05 Oct 2019
In reply to BnB:

> Great win in a tough game for the Brave Blossoms. But what were Samoa thinking with that scrum in extra time? Any Scots care to raise conspiracy theories? No one would blame you.

Maybe they forgot about the law change about taking penalties once time was up and thought the game would be over once the ball went dead as it would for a kick to touch?

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coinneach 05 Oct 2019
In reply to FactorXXX:

Wasn’t a penalty, it was a free kick so that law doesn’t apply.

 I think Somoa were hoping for another score. 

Never expected Scotland to beat Ireland, also never expected Japan to beat them. 

As you were for Scotland, two matches with two bonus points and we’re through 

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Graeme Alderson 05 Oct 2019
In reply to coinneach:

If Japan get a loosing bonus point then doesn't it goes down to points scored/conceeded?

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coinneach 05 Oct 2019
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

Head to head I think

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BnB 05 Oct 2019
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

To guarantee success Scotland need bonus point wins in each of their remaining matches. A less try-filled win that sees Japan earn a losing bonus condemns the Scots to an early exit. But a bigger margin than 7 for the Scots reverses their fates. At least I think so. All to play for. 

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the sheep 05 Oct 2019
In reply to BnB:

The Japan Scotland game should be a cracker.

England today stepped up another level against a side that shot themselves in the foot. Clear red card but after that it was over as a contest. England were sensible and ran them ragged taking the ball through lots of phases  and across the pitch. Wore them down before going in for the try’s. After getting the bonus point we shut down for a while which won’t please the boss but after they scored one back and with new players on the pitch we were back in the game again

As an aside does anyone else think Farrell should have gone off for an HIA after the red card, as his kicking showed he clearly wasn’t there. 

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FactorXXX 06 Oct 2019
In reply to coinneach:

> Wasn’t a penalty, it was a free kick so that law doesn’t apply.
>  I think Somoa were hoping for another score. 

You're right, it was a free kick - I thought it was a 'proper' scrum penalty and not a crooked feed.
I suppose that meant that Samoa's only real chance of a losing bonus point was to keep possession and by taking the scrum option would either win a penalty or win the scrum and run the length of the pitch.  If they had kicked, they would have had to keep it in field and the Japanese could have stopped the game by kicking into touch.
If they had scored a Try, they would have gained a bonus point and mathematically could have come second in their group.
 

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Wanderer100 06 Oct 2019
In reply to the sheep:

My thoughts on his early kicking. 

1 was 45 metres out. He should have let Daly kick it.

1 hit the post and bounced the wrong side.

1 other drifted wide, he should have scored that one. After that he started to score points. His goal kicking hasn't been great for a while now and I think Daly would be a better option for anything more than 40 metres out. 

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Moley 16:45 Wed
In reply to Wanderer100:

Well done Wales, that was a bit nail biting for a while there. I could hear some of those hits here in Wales and the game was thousands of miles away....and I'm half deaf!

Ouch, some sore bodies tonight.

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Hat Dude 16:54 Wed
In reply to Wanderer100:

Good result too for Scotland

Bit worrying for them though with the weather, if the typhoon forces cancellation of the match v Japan on Saturday, the Scots will go out as both teams will be awarded 2 points.

Possibly the 1st time ever that Japan have been hoping that a typhoon hits them!

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nufkin 17:03 Wed
In reply to Hat Dude:

>  Possibly the 1st time ever that Japan have been hoping that a typhoon hits them!

There was that time with the Mongols too...

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Wanderer100 18:11 Wed
In reply to Moley:

Yep. As with last world cup, Fiji pushed Wales hard and Wales overcame but at a price. Jonathon Davis must be a concern but I would imagine Dan Biggar will come through Ok after his head knock. 

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Dr.S at work 06:46 Thu
In reply to Wanderer100:

Bugger! England France Off, fingers crossed for Japan Scotland, could be a cracker!

unsure if this is good or bad for England - sends them into Australia a bit undercooked?

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Wanderer100 07:11 Thu
In reply to Dr.S at work:

Disappointing yes but avoids injuries and Australia have had some tough games whereas England should be relatively fresh. So England play the convicts and if they win that the All Blacks lie in wait. There should be 2 superb games if England can get past Australia which I expect them to.

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Dr.S at work 07:56 Thu
In reply to Wanderer100:

yes - and its my preferred route, think we have a much better chance against Australia than Wales, and probably prefer NZ in the semi's than the finals. plus it holds out the tantalizing prospect of a NH only final which would be great - imagine the tension if its England Vs Wales!

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the sheep 15:50 Thu
In reply to Dr.S at work:

Does seem to be shortsighted by world rugby to not have any back up plans. They have had 6 years to plan for a world cup in Japan when its known to be storm season!

Also missing out on a chance to take get one over on my French boss 

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Moley 16:14 Thu
In reply to the sheep:

Hopefully the Japan v Scotland may go ahead on Sunday, I think it is the game everyone is looking forward to this weekend, the outcome could go either way and both teams with everything to play for. The host country need this game to further promote the sport, I know they go through if it is cancelled but not the best way to do it.

Eddie Jones is pretty happy with his cancellation, not surprising, the only people that lose out are the fans whilst his players have an easy ride through.

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balmybaldwin 16:22 Thu
In reply to Moley:

> Eddie Jones is pretty happy with his cancellation, not surprising, the only people that lose out are the fans whilst his players have an easy ride through.

Problem is it also means they haven't had a real test before the knock-outs.

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Welsh Kate 16:36 Thu
In reply to Moley:

Yeah, disappointed that we won't get the France / England game (would have been fun, plus they'd be a bit more tired for when then face Wales), but desperately hoping Scotland / Japan goes ahead - could be the game of the group stages.

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the sheep 16:39 Thu
In reply to Welsh Kate:

Indeed, Scotland Japan should be a belter. Hope it doesnt get spoilt by and act of stupidity resulting in a red card. 

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Oceanrower 17:10 Thu
In reply to the sheep:

Desperately sorry for Italy. Unlikely though a victory might have been, they've been booted out with a game to play and a chance of qualification denied.

It is shocking that a World Cup that was first approved 10 years ago in a known hurricane hot spot (and during the hurricane season to boot!) Doesn't have alternative venues or even the ability to play on a different day.

Absolutely unbelievable.

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Moley 17:53 Thu
In reply to Oceanrower:

Does make one wonder if the final had to be cancelled due to a typhoon, if it would be declared a no score draw. Same rules for everyone? I doubt it.

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Oceanrower 18:00 Thu
In reply to Moley:

I also strongly suspect that if it was NZ that needed the win rather  than Italy, they'd find a way...

Post edited at 18:00
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Moley 18:04 Thu
In reply to Oceanrower:

Just found this on pool games.

There is a gathering apoplexy here. Yes, it states in the tournament rules that if a pool game has to be cancelled then it cannot be rearranged for a different day. A different stadium, yes. A different day, no. Scottish Rugby don't believe that's hard and fast. In the participation agreement given to each country, it says there is a clause that effectively amounts to force majeure and that clause does allow some wiggle room in terms of pushing a game back a day.

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balmybaldwin 18:46 Thu
In reply to Moley:

I also understand that the Monday is a public holiday in Japan, so it shouldn't be beyond the wit of man to play the Sat games on the Monday and still get descent crowds

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Pan Ron 20:55 Thu
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Seems a lot of people have rather quaint conceptions of what a typhoon really is.  The Japanese clearly don't.

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the sheep 21:13 Thu
In reply to Pan Ron:

I think a lot of issues are not with the Japanese, they are with world rugby. The lack of any alternative option to play the games elsewhere for example shows a lack of foresight. There are other games going on over the weekend and this typhoon has been well forecast.

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balmybaldwin 21:51 Thu
In reply to Pan Ron:

F1 in Japan deals with this reasonably well every few years.  Disruption rarely lasts more than a day, principally as the Japanese infrastructure is built to be resilient against quakes and regular Typhoons

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Pan Ron 22:01 Thu
In reply to balmybaldwin:

There's not much you can do against this sort of thing, let alone expect (and encourage) tens of thousands of people turn up to stadiums and throng the streets: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hP2jr9Zsa8o&fbclid=IwAR05tAeRE7V-7MG7OQ6bM93ZbA5Yt4OrRqEk3wyE8Jmhabz8reSH6hW41hc

Its unfortunate, but these countries experience real weather.

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balmybaldwin 22:49 Thu
In reply to Pan Ron:

I'm not saying run the matches when the storm is in full flow. I'm saying be prepared to move the matches to Monday and see what the damage is. Japan is an astonishingly resilient island

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the sheep 22:57 Thu
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Or change the location there are stadiums that are not going to be hit. As said before not having a plan B is really rather poor. 

England vs France maybe not so much of an issue as both qualify.

However for Italy it’s a big issue. Whilst they are underdogs against NZ they could still win. Ireland were ranked No 1 in the rankings when Japan beat them and I bet most people would see Italy vs Japan would be a tight game.

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Pan Ron 23:16 Thu
In reply to the sheep:

> However for Italy it’s a big issue. Whilst they are underdogs against NZ they could still win.

You're kidding right? NZ typically annihilate them and have never even come close to losing to Italy - ever. Italy arguably shouldn't even be in the 6 nations given Georgia puts on a better show. They lost 49-3 to South Africa, who NZ beat.

To say NZ could lose is like saying NZ's football team could beat Brazil.

Not playing this match is a mercy for the Italians.

> Ireland were ranked No 1 in the rankings when Japan beat them and I bet most people would see Italy vs Japan would be a tight game.

Apples and oranges. Japan are an excellent team and Ireland are still hit and miss with a winning record nothing like the All Black.

It's a shame they don't play but the Italy v NZ match was going to be an embarrassment.

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the sheep 23:36 Thu
In reply to Pan Ron:

Yes NZ should take them to the cleaners but as Japan showed against South Africa and again Ireland these results are possible.

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balmybaldwin 23:54 Thu
In reply to the sheep:

Not to mention it's likely to be Parisse's last world cup game (if not international)... it's a shame he doesn't go out playing the best in the world one last time - he deserves to. He has driven Italy to what they are today, and a player that any country would want as their no. 8 at his peak.

A true ambassador for rugby

Post edited at 23:55
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Dr.S at work 06:49 Fri
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Indeed. It’s not ‘a mercy’ for the Italians to miss a game against the AB’s, it’s a lost opportunity to measure themselves against the best. They are not up to the task - but they will wish to try anyway and for some in the squad it will be there only opportunity.

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Jmacquarrie 07:37 Fri
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Italy arguably shouldn't even be in the 6 nations given Georgia puts on a better show. They lost 49-3 to South Africa, who NZ beat.

This always comes up and it's rubbish, Italy are a better side than Georgia and have won 100% of their games against them (alright it's only 2 games).

Allowing a playoff between the top side from the tier below the 6n and the bottom side in the 6N would be a good idea but I bet you none of the 6N teams would ever go for that - Italy don't always finish bottom of that table.

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john arran 09:08 Fri
In reply to Jmacquarrie:

Here's an idea: After the 6N has finished, the top contender for 'promotion' should play each of the bottom 2 or (maybe 3) 6N teams, then that group of 3 (or 4) will effectively have completed a round robin tournament-within-a-tournament, which can then be used to see whether the new contender merits a place in the 6N the following year.

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Wanderer100 16:54 Fri
In reply to balmybaldwin:

At one time he was possibly the best No 8 in Europe. A fantastic player in a poor but emerging (gradually) team.

Anyway, in other news Scotland are looking at ways to sue World Rugby if their game against Japan is called off. It never good when lawyers have to get involved in Global Sports tournaments.

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Pan Ron 20:07 Fri
In reply to Wanderer100:

Surprising the degree to which people are getting worked up over all this.  Get a grip - it's just a sports comp.  There are bigger things in life.

I'd love to see the Scotland v Japan game.  And I love to support both teams.  But Scotland really aren't that great.  Tough as it is, they should have realised anything can happen...and perhaps not gone down to Ireland.

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Wanderer100 21:50 Fri
In reply to Pan Ron:

Get a grip?? It's much more than just a sports comp. It's the pinnacle of many players careers and legends will be born and villans created and castigated forever. 

Scotland may not be that great but nor are Japan so it should be a competitive game. Scotland would normally have the edge but Japan are playing at home and anything can happen. 

You don't sound much like a sports fan. Too pragmatic, no hint of passion and easily distracted with your loyalties. You should try a more partisan approach.  It makes sport much more meaningful and exciting.

Post edited at 21:51
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the sheep 21:50 Fri
In reply to Pan Ron:

The annoyance is mainly with the fact that there is no plan b to make sure all the games happen. This has been forecast well in advance so games could have been re located 

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PaulTclimbing 22:27 Fri
In reply to Wanderer100:

You know its in the bag when the opposition come out to play with the most diabolically dangerous tackling tactics on and off the ball take outs. Very games man like, but some of it utterly disgusting and as ever the S. Hemisphere refereed very friendly. In contrast wales were morally exemplary and deserved all the accolades. Re Australia game. They focussed on the heads!!

Post edited at 22:32
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Pan Ron 22:34 Fri
In reply to the sheep:

It's not just "the game" that needs relocation.  It's relocating all the infrastructure and the fans, be they in the stadium or the local Izakaya.  It's all flights and trains cancelled and roads closed as well.

Besides, the moment an England fan gets clobbered by a falling torii or wayward roof tile you can guarantee the press would be demanding to know why it hasn't been cancelled.

This typhoon is a monster and the Japanese know full well the best way to react to them.

Anyway, hopefully Japan V Scotland goes ahead.  That's the only game of the three that really matters.

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Pan Ron 22:39 Fri
In reply to Wanderer100:

It's a struggle to remain partisan when your team is the repeat world champions, you'd prefer to see Japan in the finals, and with them any team apart from England, Australia or South Africa ;-)

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the sheep 23:35 Fri
In reply to Pan Ron:

It’s all academic now with Saturdays games. I really do hope the Scotland game goes ahead and as the underdogs I will be rooting for Japan 

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Darron 12:41 Sun
In reply to Wanderer100:

It would appear Scotland are in danger of being “sent homeward tae think again” 😊

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Oceanrower 12:44 Sun
In reply to Darron:

Must admit I've been shouting for Japan. Beautiful ball carrying and that last try was sublime!

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Lemony 12:45 Sun
In reply to Oceanrower:

Yep, I came in a neutral but Japan's play is just joyous to watch.

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Lemony 12:54 Sun
In reply to Wanderer100:

:o

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FactorXXX 12:55 Sun
In reply to Lemony:

> Yep, I came in a neutral but Japan's play is just joyous to watch.

Absolute magical stuff!

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Ian W 12:56 Sun
In reply to Darron:

> It would appear Scotland are in danger of being “sent homeward tae think again” 😊


Plane tickets booked it seems.

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Oceanrower 12:56 Sun
In reply to Lemony:

That, surely, is it now for Scotland.

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nathan79 13:04 Sun
In reply to Ian W:

I don't know if they'll be welcomed back. 

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Oceanrower 13:11 Sun
In reply to Ian W:

Hold on. Got their tails up now....

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Wainers44 13:24 Sun
In reply to Oceanrower:

Great game! 😀 

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Wanderer100 13:42 Sun
In reply to Oceanrower:

60 seconds to go and Scotland are out barring a miracle! Still, better to know you've been beaten by a better team than wonder what might have been in the event the game was cancelled.

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Lemony 13:43 Sun
In reply to Wanderer100:

That might just be the most enjoyable game of rugby I've ever watched. Plaudits to all involved - players, officials, fans.

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Darron 13:43 Sun
In reply to Wanderer100:

Well done both teams I reckon!

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Oceanrower 13:43 Sun
In reply to Wanderer100:

Now THAT was a game of rugby. 

Best one of the tournament so far!

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Oceanrower 13:45 Sun
In reply to Wanderer100:

On the downside, it does mean that England are still the only host nation ever to not qualify from the pool stage...

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stevieb 13:46 Sun
In reply to Oceanrower:

Amazing game, the handling and offloads by japan were superb. Great that they held on for the win. 

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Wanderer100 13:50 Sun
In reply to Oceanrower:

Japan have a great chance to get to the semis with meeting South Africa in the Quarters. There'll be some nervous Saffers out there!! 

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Pan Ron 14:00 Sun
In reply to Wanderer100:

I suspect not.  I predict Japan will crumble against South Africa, mostly on account of having spent themselves in this match.  Give SA a run for their money but I don't see them lasting beyond 60 minutes unfortunately.

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Moley 14:18 Sun
In reply to Oceanrower:

Thank goodness that game took place, fantastic viewing for everyone and showed rugby at it's best as a spectator sport, it had everything. 

Scotland could easily have rolled over and embarrassed themselves in the second half, but they made it a nail biting game to the end. Well done both teams.

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Adam_42 14:32 Sun
In reply to Pan Ron:

> mostly on account of having spent themselves in this match. 

Given that they have a week off, I'm not sure that's going to be the determining factor.

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earlsdonwhu 15:04 Sun

Best game I've seen for ages as a neutral. I loved the seeming simplicity of the Japanese quick passing. It was almost like a faster version of a game from decades ago whereas now so many games are dominated by endless rumbling forward phases and slow ball. Of course, the Japanese defence was admirable too. Hopefully, Japan can get more exposure to tier one competition....at the moment they would be stronger than Italy in the Six nations.

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nathan79 15:59 Sun
In reply to Lemony:

Some terrible officiating, like for Japan's first try which looked rather forward.

Doesn't detract from Japan's victory though. Scotland just didn't play well enough.

Time to re-group and look ahead. Might I suggest rethinking Gregor Townshend and becoming another nation that poaches players from the Pacific Islands? 

The only decision now is who to root for now?

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stevieb 16:14 Sun
In reply to nathan79:

> Time to re-group and look ahead. Might I suggest rethinking Gregor Townshend and becoming another nation that poaches players from the Pacific Islands? 

Japan have 16 foreign born players in their world cup squad, Scotland have 15. The only  teams with more are Tonga and Samoa. 

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BnB 16:26 Sun
In reply to earlsdonwhu:

> Best game I've seen for ages as a neutral. I loved the seeming simplicity of the Japanese quick passing. It was almost like a faster version of a game from decades ago whereas now so many games are dominated by endless rumbling forward phases and slow ball. Of course, the Japanese defence was admirable too. Hopefully, Japan can get more exposure to tier one competition....at the moment they would be stronger than Italy in the Six nations.

On the basis of wins over Scotland and Ireland, it’s not just Italy who are flattered by Japan’s absence. Wonderful to watch and I’m sure every neutral’s favourite team of this tournament. 

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nathan79 17:29 Sun
In reply to stevieb:

Yes, but look closer at the stats. Scotland 2 out of 15 based on residency, Japan 15 out of 16!

Don't get me wrong, Japan play well and seem to have established a great infrastructure for supporting the national team. Scotland could learn more than player sequestration from them.

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Lemony 17:41 Sun
In reply to nathan79:

> Some terrible officiating, like for Japan's first try which looked rather forward.

frankly, if the worst example you can give is a marginal decision on a forward pass* then “terrible” sounds terribly hyperbolic.

* which I thought looked ok anyway 

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stevieb 17:53 Sun
In reply to nathan79:

> Yes, but look closer at the stats. Scotland 2 out of 15 based on residency, Japan 15 out of 16!

I’m not sure that Allan Dell, Ben Toolis and Blade Thomson grew up supporting Scotland, but I  accept that about half of your 15 probably did. 

Personally, I’m willing to allow Japan two foreign born locks of it means we get to see the rest of their scintillating rugby.   

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Pan Ron 23:24 Sun
In reply to nathan79:

Most of the non-ethnic Japanese players have made the country home, speak Japanese and I believe a few even married Japanese.

At what point can they be accepted as rightfully Japanese? Or put another way, how comfortable would you be telling a Nigerian born player who lived in the UK that they aren't English?

The Japanese have had a lasting influence in the Pacific islands and arguably have a closer connection than the ex colonial power in some cases.

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