Opinion: Rugby World Cup 2019 in danger of descending into farce – Peter Butler

0
9


The Rugby World Cup is in danger of descending into farce if games have to be cancelled due to weather this weekend.

England versus France and Scotland against Japan are both in doubt because of a typhoon barrelling towards the host nation.

While the damage of cancelling the England match is offset by both teams being already qualified for the knockouts, the situation would be desperately disappointing for the Scots.

Gregor Townsend’s side need a win over the hosts to give themselves a chance of qualification in the pick of the final pool games to take place this weekend.

 

Should weather force the game to be cancelled, it would be called a draw and Japan would go through.

The organisers have also talked about moving games which would be a monumental logistical task.

I would encourage them to throw all their resources at making sure the Scotland-Japan game goes ahead, given its importance.

I’m sure there is a bit of head-scratching going on amongst the organisers.



Scotland’s Adam Hastings (left) celebrates scoring his side’s second try against Russia

Scotland, like all of the teams in Japan, have been preparing for this competition for the last four years.

For it all to come down to elimination due to weather would be mighty painful. Scotland would be out despite losing only one game to pool favourites Ireland.

The key result was Ireland’s loss to Japan, giving the Japanese some daylight at the top of the pool heading into the final round of fixtures.

Hopefully the weather turns out okay in the end and the final standings are decided on the field, not because of the weather.

A shame Underhill is not at Gloucester

Sam Underhill has firmly established himself in the England side in a hugely competitive back row with the World Cup knockout stages looming.

The former Gloucester boy has put in some fine performances to give Eddie Jones no option but to pick him in what is a strong area for England.



Sam Underhill of England charges upfield

I’m sure Gloucester fans in some ways find it difficult to watch a player who left the Cherry and Whites as a teenager go on to become an international star, particularly while playing for Bath.

You can never be sure how the negotiations went when Underhill left Gloucester for the Ospreys in 2015.

Hopefully the powers that be at Kingsholm did all they could to keep Underhill as an up-and-coming talent, but it is always difficult to predict what players will become.

After two years at Ospreys, Underhill moved back to the Premiership with Bath and earned England recognition.

 

You can really only be impressed by the player the former Longlevens man has become.

It would just have been nice to be looking forward to him returning to play in a Gloucester shirt later in the season.

Gloucester must go full-strength in derby

Gloucester’s Premiership Rugby Cup campaign does not make pretty reading in the wake of the defeat to Harlequins.

The Cherry and Whites sent a strong side to The Stoop, but shipped 40 points in a loose display.



Mike Brown of Harlequins scores the opening try

I know it’s hard to read too much into these games, which are effectively being treated as warm-ups for the start of the league season, but I’m sure Gloucester would love a win under their belts.

The final chance for that comes against Bath at Kingsholm on Friday night, a match that doubles as Henry Trinder’s testimonial.

The Premiership kicks into action the following weekend with a trip to Sale.

The Bath game will show us exactly where Johan Ackermann’s thinking is in terms of his starting line-up and matchday squad.

 

Opportunities for giving players game time are over now – Ackermann will want his full-strength side going into battle in the West Country derby.

Bath have lost two of their three games in the competition so far, going down to Exeter and Leicester, but beating Worcester.

Both teams will be looking to give themselves and their fans a boost heading into the new season.

Read More

Top Gloucester Rugby stories

An important positive for Gloucester was that, despite shipping 40 points, they managed to score 31, including five tries in an away match.

The attacking potency remains for the Cherry and Whites, and if the defence can click into gear, it appears there will be enough points on the board to win some games this season.



Read The Story Here

SHARE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here