Why Ja­pan pos­sess the ca­pa­bil­i­ties to send Scot­land home

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Total Rugby -

per­form­ers in the front row have been Shota Horie at two and Koo Ji-won at tight­head, who stood up so im­pres­sively to Ire­land’s Rory Best and Tadhg Fur­long.

That vic­tory was big­ger than Brighton and South Africa in 2015. Then, South Africa ro­tated play­ers, were not aware of the dan­ger and re­sponded far too late. Ire­land were fully prepped, fully loaded.

The back row has had one of the stand­out per­form­ers in the tour­na­ment – Kazuki Hi­meno, six against Ire­land and eight against Rus­sia. What a de­struc­tive and dy­namic ball car­rier.

Then there is Pi­eter Labuschagn­e, who does not know when he is beaten. He will hound you, ha­rass you and never give you a soft tackle. Michael Leitch is rugby’s Win­ston Wolfe – Har­vey Kei­tel’s char­ac­ter in Pulp Fic­tion and now in­ex­pli­ca­bly sell­ing in­surance. Wolfe is the bloke to call if things need tidy­ing up, when you want trou­ble to dis­ap­pear, and Leitch is that man. Back in the loose for­ward trio, he has be­come the master con­troller.

Leitch does not limit the out­look, but he ups the like­li­hood of pos­i­tive out­comes. An ex­tremely

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