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Saturday, 6 March 2021

Tensions rise as typhoon looms over Japan-Scotland showdown

Duration: 01:06s 0 shares 3 views
Tensions rise as typhoon looms over Japan-Scotland showdown
Tensions rise as typhoon looms over Japan-Scotland showdown
Scotland call for 24 hour delay of vital Rugby World Cup match


(SOUNDBITE) (English) SCOTTISH RUGBY CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MARK DODSON, SAYING: "I think in the court of public opinion we have already won.

I think you can see from social media that people feel that this doesn't feel quite right.

All we are saying - we are not being strident, we are not being difficult and we want to compromise - we are asking for a 24 hour delay so the game can be played in perfect safety.

Right form the get-go, from Wednesday night, we told World Rugby we would play any place, anywhere.

We would play behind closed doors, we would play in full stadiums, we would travel the length and breadth of Japan.

We were ready to go from Hamamatsu (training camp)." 2.


(SOUNDBITE) (English) SCOTTISH RUGBY CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MARK DODSON, SAYING: "I think we are not asking one rule for Scotland and one rule for Italy.

What we are saying is that they took a decision fairly quickly around those games, we are the last game to be played, it's a huge game, pivotal game and our view is that it doesn't sit right with us, it isn't just.

We feel there are other ways this could have happened and there was massive amounts of contingency planning apparently going but none of them seem to be executed.

We are just saying to them (World Rugby) - look, I don't want to criticise World Rugby, they are running a first class tournament and I am convinced they are going to do everything they can to get this game played on Sunday." STORY: Tensions have risen ahead of the final Rugby World Cup pool match between Japan and Scotland in Yokohama on Sunday (October 11), with Typhoon Hagibis still threatening to scupper the tie.

The unbeaten tournament hosts lead Pool A on 14 points and are within sight of their first World Cup quarter-final spot, while Scotland are in third on 10 and need to beat Japan to give themselves any chance of advancing to the knockout phase.

Second-placed Ireland are on 11 and play the already eliminated Samoa in Fukuoka on Saturday in their final pool game.

The Japan-Scotland match, which is scheduled to kick off at Yokohama Stadium at 7:45 p.m.

(1045 GMT) on Sunday, however, could still be abandoned, with Hagibis expected to make landfall on Saturday and bring destructive wind and rain.

Should the Yokohama match be cancelled, Scotland and Japan would receive two points each, meaning Japan and Ireland would finish as the top two in Pool A and reach the quarter-finals, providing the Irish beat Samoa.

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend, who resorted to his first-choice line-up for the game by making 12 changes from the side that beat Russia 61-0 on Wednesday, made no secret of the fact that he thought the game should go ahead, no matter what.

That could mean postponing it until Monday, or even shifting it to another venue, he said, something World Rugby said it was not prepared to do.

The Scottish Rugby Union, however, have gone on the attack against organisers and SRU chief executive Mark Dodson said their side was not going to be "collateral damage for a decision that was taken in haste." Scotland have never lost to Japan in seven previous matches, but the gap between the two sides is reducing with their last game producing a 21-16 victory in Tokyo in 2016.

(Production: Andy Ragg)


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