It’s Monday afternoon, and yes (it really happened)
Ireland succumbed to a 19-12 defeat at the hands of the Brave Blossoms over the weekend. But where does that leave Ireland now that Pool A has been blown wide open?
Current Pool A standings following the Japan defeat on Saturday:
Ireland will look to take all 10 points on offer against Russia this Thursday and Samoa on Saturday, October 12 which would leave Joe Schmidt’s side on 16 points in total should they succeed.
Should Scotland win there next three games with bonus points, it would leave them on 15 points in total, which means they cannot top the pool regardless and will have to aim for second place at best.
If Japan continues their flying form and beat Samoa and Scotland without bonus points, they will win the Pool on 17 points.
What’s Ireland’s worst-case scenario?
The worst-case scenario for Ireland is they fail to get winning bonus points against Russia and Samoa, or even worse, lose one another game, which would leave them open to being knocked out by both Scotland and Japan.
Ireland’s best outcome?
Ireland will need bonus-point wins over Russia and Samoa which would cement their place as Pool A runners up at the very least. Ireland will then need favours in the form of Scotland beating Japan in order to top Pool A.
The Japan v Scotland fixture will have a huge bearing on our Quarter Final opponents should we come through the next two games with maximum returns.
Mon 30 Sep, Scotland v Samoa (Kobe), 11.15 am
Thu 3 Oct, Ireland v Russia (Kobe), 11.15 am
Sat 5 Oct, Japan v Samoa (Toyota), 11.30 am
Wed 9 Oct, Scotland v Russia (Shizuoka), 8.15 am
Sat 12 Oct, Ireland v Samoa (Fukuoka), 11.45 am
Sun 13 Oct, Japan v Scotland (Yokohama), 11.45 am