Scotland at crossroads on quest for Rugby World Cup quarter-finals

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By Tom English
BBC Scotland
At Ogasayama Nature Park in Shizuoka Prefectures heart establishes the Ecopa Stadium, a location from halfway down the road to Kakegawa City to put England out of the 2002 football World 45, when Ronaldinho lobbed David Seaman, put on the sporting map.
The place had to wait 17 years for another minute of magnitude – and the earth fairly shook when it arrived.
What Ronaldinho failed in sinking England, Kenki Fukuoka failed with the try that contributed to one of the sensations of this, or any other in Ireland that is shocking.
Scotland will hope that a third part is not of drama connected to the Ecopa come Wednesday, when they and Russia in their group match play with with.
Everybody understands the Scots must be shaken for by this, however, here is the landscape yet another time. They must beat the Russians, accessible at 50-1 when youre brave.
Take four points and they then must go on to Yokohama for the game against Japan.
Thats what they need to do now, although scotland havent won three Tests in a row at a World Cup. They have never beaten a team above them in the ranks at a World Cup, but that is another obstacle they have to clear if they are to make it to the last eight.
Yokohama on Sunday can wait, for there is business to be carried out in Shizuoka very first. Scotland will get the work done against Russia, but the Bears are no pushovers.
Player after Scottish trainer and player after trainer has talked about them and it is abundantly obvious that Russias battle is respected by them. They dont fear it, but they understand that a strength which can take some quelling is brought by Russia.
It took Japan and Ireland more than an hour to set them away once and for all. The groups attrition is exemplified by their openside flanker, Tagir Gadzhiev, from the tourist region of Dagestan. Gadzhiev is really a participant and he will certainly get a contact playing illustrious environment than the league, after his World Cup is done.
That is the final match of the championship of Russia and anybody who believes theyll go quietly hasnt seen them play.
Coached from Wales Lyn Jonesthey have a defence which requires a fair piece of breaking down, a good scrum which was great enough to win two scrum penalties against Ireland and a kicking fly-half. They struggle so that they are designed to frustrate. Theyve done far better than anyone thought they could.
Together with Scotland, its often all about mindset – and a team of psychologists are at a loss to determine what their attitude is going to be to another. Its simple to say, as they always do, theyre a group that is proud nevertheless their maddening inconsistency causes you to question sometimes.
The non-performance from Ireland was miserable. Gregor Townsend explained he noticed that something was not quite right with them in the warm-up. The warm-up! What exactly does that suggest if not mental frailty? Of course there is another, although thats one facet of Scotland.
The very second game here in Japan attracted an impressive reaction to what occurred in Yokohama. Townsend made the modifications and changes worked.
Unexpectedly, the attitude had been spot-on. Suddenly Scotland and aggression played. They say that they need to play with the fastest rugby in the world, however this was a hybrid of exactly what they ought to be and what they would like to be. They managed to marry a belligerence up front with a originality. It turned out to be a game program that is balanced and it was encouraging.
The coach, danny Wilson, stated that the Samoa match is the benchmark. He pointed out that, yes, they had to experience a hellish week post-Ireland to come across the steel they needed – but now that they had itthey couldnt dip below that level again. Ever.
Well see.
We have been getting excited for too long about performances. The win against the Wallabies in Sydney the Finn Russell-inspired victory against England, the annihilation of their Pumas at Argentina, the comeback at Twickenham.
All amazing experiences, all cases of Scotland in their dashing finest. However, you can find one or two others that reveal them.
They are now back at the crossroads in their story. Can they take another wrong turn and move around in circles all over again – or do they get started making progress and find the answers that are correct?
Russia is going to be put away but ahead of Japan run out in the cauldron of all Yokohama against them with just four days, you have to check at this as a week that will specify the time of Townsend as Scotland mentor.
With all due respect to this Six Nations, these games would be.
Over the past fortnight, we have discovered the challenge is described by players in many of different approaches but all of the terminology equates to the identical thing. Do-or-die, says you. Sink-or-swim, states another. Now or never, says a thirdparty. All or nothing, says a fourth.
If they are able to create the quarter-finals and take out a badly summoned soccer team, the host nation then that will be a success worth saluting. That job began with Samoa and continues with Russia. Two games left and no security net. The pressure is on.

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