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By Tom English
On Monday morning we awakened to the news of a typhoon going across the Western Pacific Ocean bound for Japan. The meteorological agency known as it Typhoon Hagibis and within our innocence and since it was thought it could damage the prospects of making the World Cup quarter-finals of Ireland and increase the opportunities of Scotland, it was filmed Hurricane Haggis.
Many Scots were laughing . Nobody had been laughing on Saturday because something began to growl its manner in Yokohama, the venue (hopefully) for Scotlands massive battle with Japan to choose who goes through and who moves out.
1 man was murdered in Chiba, three were missing after a landslide at Gunma even before Hagibis made landfall at Shizouka Prefecture at 7pm local time on Saturday, 211,600 houses were without electricity and evacuation orders were issued to millions of families.
Planes were trained, trains halted, roofs were ripped off constructions, record rainfall was recorded amid flooding. During its center, winds have been measured at 162kmph and gusting at 234kmph. Each day sombre news presenters stood in front of graphics depicting what they believed was the full scale of the terror approaching. You didnt need to be aware of the language to find the messages gravity.
Around 6.20pm an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.7 hit offshore in Katsuura in Chiba. Over 60 miles away the tremor was felt in Yokohama where the Scotland team are currently remaining. Fraser Brown, Scotlands beginning hooker, tweeted that a movie of his hotel corridor moving and Immunology from side to side.
On the 20th floor of this Vista resort, as dinner was eaten by guests, the building swayed. Japan has such an history of natural disasters that its people are stoic in moments. The team brought food like nothing had occurred. To them, it was normal and there was nothing to worry about. To the tourists, it was eerie.
Sunday will bring back the sun to Yokohama – but will we have a game? The word is that World Cup organisers are going to have site inspection around 6am (22:00 BST) and will announce a decision between 8am and 10am. Thats not a deadline. Technically, they could wait until six hours prior to kick-off – 1.45pm neighborhood (05:45 BST) – to create their telephone.
This was exactly what Scottish Rugby thought they went to do. Its known that they realised when they read it in an online media accounts on Friday 25, a decision may come hours before. Theyre livid at what they say is a scarcity of communication and information from World Rugby.
Relations between both bodies could be worse. There is likely to be ear-splitting outcry from the SRU if the game does not take place. That row operate and will operate. On its face the SRU may be limited in their options but only one thing is for certain – in the event of a doomsday scenario theyre not minded to go.
Without needing to become a hostage to fortune there had been indications late on Saturday in Yokohama which Hagibis, mercifully, was not likely to wreak the terrible havoc predicted and that loss of life and damage to infrastructure wouldnt be anywhere near the realms of the horrors of Kanto and Izu typhoon of 1958, a disaster that killed 1,200 people and one which Hagibis was said to equal.
What does it all mean for the almighty saga of all the denouement of Scotland with Japan on Sunday? It is still too early to say. Nobody was in the stadium when Hagibis was violent and if the heaviest rain fell, therefore nobody knows what damage is present there. Flooding is a major worry.
The organisers might call off it on security grounds, they might let it proceed behind closed doors or, even the show might proceed in front of a potential audience if the harm isnt important. Nobody understands. Until the team of inspectors do their job everybody is imagining.
Scotland and Japan continue to prepare as they must, as if the game is a certainty. Even without Hagibis hubbub along with the war of words involving Scottish Rugby and World Rugby using Jamie Joseph throwing in his barbs too, this was a Exam that captivated the game. Now its an unmissable affair for anyone who has ever picked up a rugby ball.
The tv audience in Japan will be enormous, in or around, if we receive a game. The hosts will be the group with the aid of much of the world, beyond Ireland and Scotland who have a vested interest in those losing. Japan have electrified the tournament. Their brilliantly has been the highlight so far.
Bear in mind that Scotland should take four more points from the match than Japan – and Scotland are not in the business of winning and going into the backyard of leading teams, never mind winning with a margin. Discounting the victory over Italy in the neutral venue of Singapore, at Townsends time theyve have just managed three off wins from Tier One onwards – that is what Japan realistically are now – and only one of these, Argentina in 2018, was by the margin of victory thatll cut it on Sunday.
They can win as they got a bonus stage. That is tough to see, yet.
Joseph complained the other day that his boys have been disrespected in places. It is tough to know if he meant it or if he said it that his players thought it, adding more fuel to their fire. Its not true. For this Japan side theres been nothing but respect from Scotland.
Theyre a side that can play pace while maintaining precision, a group of work-rate and ability and ambition. Theirs is a brand of rugby. Fitness levels are sky high. They havent lacked for resilience. Japan established against Ireland that speed could be equally as effective as electricity in todays game. The grunt of ireland was no game for his or her own energy.
Directed by the Michael Leitch, they are an all-round fine side, hewn in their Sunwolves adventures in Super Rugby. If Scotland were to win with that magic margin of eight points it would go down in two years as possibly their victory.
Scotland routed Russia and Samoa. Opposition, for certain, however Gregor Townsends staff had a toughness about them that impressed. Have they discovered something in youth? Sunday will inform. Darcy Graham is an irrepressible character. Fearless. His promise is being built on by magnus Bradbury. Jamie Ritchie is revealing just what a belligerent player. Blade Thomson is living up to the hype, however that is their ultimate Test. That is the place where they float or sink.
Yes, we couch everything that it was Samoa and Russia, but the mindset was a million times better than it had been against Ireland. Together with Scotland you feel that getting the right mindset is half of the battle. They have had it in matches and should they have it in Yokohama afterward a classic might ensue.
They think they are prepared also have flopped and whilst recognizing that theyve been down this road many times. That is an away match and we know like when playing another teams arena using the strain on what Scotland are normally. At their best they can do this, but Nostradamus would have given up predicting what this team was likely to deliver from one week to another.
Theyll travel in expect to perform with a team Should they have to go to the scene, however, a team burdened by expectation. The only wish is that the game is performed by having to call off it, and that the governing body of the sport do undermine their credibility. The rugby world wishes to see this one. The anticipation, and the stakes, are as large as the highest skyscraper in Yokohama.
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