RECAP: Japan v Scotland
READERS’ FORUM: Welcome to the World Cup pool match between Japan and Scotland in Yokohama.
An angry war of words between Japan and Scotland has injected an element of needle into Sunday’s clash.
Furious at threats of a formal Scottish protest if the crunch Pool A clash is cancelled, Japan coach Jamie Joseph felt the hosts had been disrespected, fuming that talk of legal action “undermined the achievements” of his side.
His opposite number, Gregor Townsend, hit back by saying he “had a good laugh” at the comments of a coach that played Test matches for New Zealand and Japan, which were made with the help of prepared notes before he named his Japan side.
Prediction: If the game does go ahead – and yes, there is still some doubt – it will be a cracking end to the pool stages. It will decide who meets South Africa in the quarterfinals. It will be a close game, with just one score in it at the end, Scotland winning by five points – still getting knocked out, after failing to get the bonus point required.
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Japan: 15 William Tupou, 14 Kotaro Matsushima, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Ryoto Nakamura, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Yutaka Nagare, 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Michael Leitch (captain), 5 James Moore, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Jiwon Koo, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki.
Replacements: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Isileli Nakajima, 18 Asaeli Ai Valu, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Hendrik Tui, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Ryohei Yamanaka.
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Darcy Graham 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Jamie Ritchie, 6 Magnus Bradbury, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Allan Dell.
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Scott Cummings, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 George Horne, 22 Pete Horne, 23 Blair Kinghorn.
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Matthew Carley (England)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)