Rugby This is another beautiful add-on!
|2019 Rugby World Cup Pool A: Ireland v Scotland|
|Venue:International Stadium, YokohamaDate:Sunday, 22 SeptemberKick-off:08:45 BST|
|Coverage:Full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Scotland MW and BBC Radio Ulster; plus text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.|
When Scotland had finally made their way through the rush-hour traffic from a training session at Yokohama in the Kanagawa Prefecture to their hotel in Takanawa in the Shinagawa ward east of the Imperial Palace, probably the last thing they wanted to do was chew the fat with the media.
The time for talking, in fairness, is over. Scotland play Ireland on Sunday. Since the draw was made 28 months ago, this one game has sat on the landscape as big and as imposing as the Great Buddha of Kamakura. It is Gregor Townsend’s first World Cup game as Scotland coach and it is Joe Schmidt’s last campaign as Ireland coach. One of them is going to be in rugby purgatory come Sunday night in Tokyo.
Ireland’s World Cup record is a recurring tale of woe, from the agony of a last-minute quarter-final exit to eventual winners Australia in 1991 to a humiliating loss to the unheralded Argentina in 1999 to another heartache against Australia in 2003 to the mortification of a struggle against Namibia, a near-loss to Georgia and a thumping loss to the Pumas in 2007. This is not a story any of them will want to tell their grandchildren.
In 2011 they had a big chance to make the last four for the first time but lost to Wales. Four years later, and ravaged by injury, they departed in the quarter-final, Argentina doing the damage once more. Eight countries have made a World Cup semi-final including Scotland (once) and Wales and Argentina (twice), but that list does not include Ireland.
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