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YOKOHAMA –The Japan vs. Scotland clash in Yokohama was always one of the most talked about fixtures when the draw for the Rugby World Cup was made in Kyoto in 2017.
And so it has proved, though sadly not always for the reasons most were hoping for.
As was expected all those months ago, Pool A has become a three-way shootout with Japan, Scotland and Ireland vying for the two quarterfinal spots.
The arrival of Typhoon Hagibis and its ramifications, however, have overshadowed Sunday’s game, with the Scottish Rugby Union threatening World Rugby with legal action if the game is canceled and Scotland is prevented from having a shot at a spot in the quarterfinals.
Japan heads into the final weekend with 14 points, while Ireland, which plays Samoa later Saturday, have 11 and Scotland 10 points.
Many variables abound involving bonus points and points difference, but in its simplest form, if Ireland beats Samoa, that would leave Scotland needing to beat Japan to make the last eight.
But if Sunday’s game is called off, it would be declared a 0-0 draw with both sides getting two points and the Scots on the first flight home.
Scotland said the game should be played a day later if canceled. But World Rugby reminded the SRU late Friday night that “along with the 19 other teams, the Scottish Rugby Union signed the Rugby World Cup 2019 terms of participation, which clearly state in Section 5.3:
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