Why Japan possess the capabilities to send Scotland home
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