- Title: Tensions rise as typhoon looms over Japan-Scotland showdown
- Date: 11th October 2019
- Summary: YOKOHAMA, JAPAN (OCTOBER 11, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** SCOTTISH RUGBY CHIEF EXECUTIVE MARK DODSON ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE VARIOUS OF DODSON AT NEWS CONFERENCE (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)." NEWS CONFERENCE UNDERWAY (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." SCOTTISH LOGO (SOUNDBITE) (English) SCOTTISH RUGBY CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MARK DODSON, SAYING: "If you are an economic powerhouse of the game then I think it comes with more clout and I think most people feel that if it was one of the economic powerhouses of the game - lets just say New Zealand - perhaps more thought would have been given to a flexible approach." JAPAN 2019 LOGO / SCOTTISH LOGO SCOTTISH HEAD COACH GREGOR TOWNSEND ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) SCOTTISH HEAD COACH, GREGOR TOWNSEND, SAYING: "I am of the belief that the game will go ahead. We obviously have to get through tomorrow and the weather that is coming into this area tomorrow but I have seen the weather for Sunday, it looks very good. I have seen how this country responds to big weather events and other natural disasters and I am sure that within 24 hours (of the storm) we will be playing a game of rugby." NEWS CONFERENCE UNDERWAY (SOUNDBITE) (English) SCOTTISH HEAD COACH, GREGOR TOWNSEND, SAYING: "This is a game that I think a lot of people are looking to. We have talked about it being one of those rare occasions where you get to play in a game which is a straight shootout for the quarterfinals, obviously with the proviso that we score more than seven points more than Japan, against the home nation, against a team that is playing really well. It is a game you dream to be involved in." NEWS CONFERENCE UNDERWAY (SOUNDBITE) (English) SCOTTISH HEAD COACH, GREGOR TOWNSEND, TALKING ABOUT DROPPING CAPTAIN STUART MCINALLY, SAYING: "Not in his best form. He was much better in the Samoa game compared to the Ireland game and there are a number of players that didn't perform in the Ireland game. Fraser (Brown) has been excellent as soon as he came back from injury, playing openside for the majority of that Ireland game and coming on at hooker against Samoa and playing 30 minutes, when was that two nights ago? Against Russia. We have seen Stuart improving in training and in the two game he played so we believe he can have a real impact in the second half." SCOTTISH PLAYERS AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) SCOTTISH CAPTAIN, GREIG LAIDLAW, SAYING: "We are all available to play on Monday if need be. Japan have been excellent so far in the tournament so it is certainly not their fault and they are in a strong position but they will want to play the game as well. So do we. It is frustrating and as a playing group and as an individual, you work so hard to come to competitions like this and play in these types of games. Obviously we cant control what the weather is going to do but I think to have the option of a back-up plan, certainly as a playing group, is certainly something that needs to be looked at." NEWS CONFERENCE UNDERWAY (SOUNDBITE) (English) SCOTTISH CAPTAIN, GREIG LAIDLAW, TALKING ABOUT BEING CAPTAIN, SAYING: "It is fine with me. I am probably the most experienced player within the team. It is a big game so I am more than happy to take on the responsibility but effectively it changes nothing. We have a test match to win and that is what we are all concentrating on." NEWS CONFERENCE ENDING
- Embargoed: 25th October 2019 12:07
- Keywords: Rugby World Cup Scotland Japan Typhoon
- Location: YOKOHAMA, JAPAN
- City: YOKOHAMA, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Rugby Union,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA001B0NIGQN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Tensions have risen ahead of the final Rugby World Cup pool match between Japan and Scotland in Yokohama on Friday (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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