Good morning and welcome to Munster Haka’s early morning Rugby World Cup 2019 column ‘Tee and Toast’. Find it’s too early for in-depth analysis and forceful opinion? We’ve got you covered.
With no Matt Fagerson, no Richie Gray, no Magnus Bradbury, no Josh Strauss, no Ali Price, no Bryon McGuigan, no Blair Kinghorn, no Horne brothers and disgracefully no Huw Jones, it was almost as if Gregor Townsend would rather face New Zealand than South Africa in the quarter-finals. If that was the aim, Scotland did a marvelous job yesterday morning, leaving Yokohama with full marks in cloning Russia and with zero points on the group table.
While Ireland’s pack was at it’s clinical best, an uninspired Scotland channelled the same spirit their football side showed in their opening game of 2019 – by losing 3-0 to Kazakhstan. Insipid from minute one, only getting in behind the Irish defence through hopeful Stuart Hogg dinks, Townsend’s troops were a far cry from the outfit that were robbed of a place in the 2015 semi-finals by Craig Joubert against Australia. The controversial referee hasn’t been heard from since and after yesterday’s display Scottish fans will be hoping their backline will face a similar fate.
Who were those centres anyway?
Take-Away: Positivity has returned to Irish rugby but could we be undercooked heading into the knockouts?
Cult Hero Watch: Chris Farrell
Entertainment Value: 6/10
Day in Review: There was little to learn from yesterday’s fixtures with three pretty predictable results unfolding as Italy and England also bagged opening round victories. Ireland have every right to be happy but a more interesting storyline could be the potential Scottish emplosion irn-brewing at this World Cup. Maybe hosts Japan could make the quarter-finals after all.
Check in again tomorrow at 8am for more TN’T content from the team