Feature Articles

RWC 2019: Debrief as Scotland crash out of the World Cup after Japan loss

Scotland recovered from the Irish loss to put in good showings against Samoa and Russia in Pool A, but coming up against a team in the top eight in the world they simply had no answers here in the first half.

A good start came thanks to Finn Russell’s converted try, but from that moment on Japan controlled the next 35 or so minutes.

Jamie Ritchie was doing his best at the breakdown, but Japan’s energy and ingenuity was just too much as the hosts led 21-7 at the interval.

Scotland had a point to prove after half-time and although they did get within seven points they ran out of steam in this encounter which never stopped.

Plus points go to Ritchie for his performance while Jonny Gray came to the party in the second half, but after failing to reach the knock out stages and poor performances against Ireland and in the first half here a tough post mortem will start now for the Scots.

We have heard Scotland’s coaching staff say that they want to play the fastest rugby in the world, but currently that honour goes to Japan.

They were under massive pressure going into the game with the expectations of the whole nation on their shoulders, but they recovered from an early Scottish try with aplomb.

The team play with such discipline and structure and their offloading game is off the scale.

The half backs Yutaka Nagare and Yu Tamura are the heartbeat of the team, they control the tempo and they have so many willing ball carriers around them at every turn.

Timothy Lafaele and man of the match Kenki Fukuoka have also been a star in this tournament and their fitness coaches must work the team hard because they just never stop.

There were a few nerves amongst the home fans when Scotland pulled it back to 28-21, but that is how it stayed and Japan deserved this win and deserve to now be looking forward to a last eight tie with South Africa.

Main photo by David Gibson/Fotosport

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