It’s all gone Pete Tong.
As a super typhoon looks set to wreak havoc on the World Cup, meaning we’ve lost 2 matches so far, New Zealand v Italy and England v France, the bigger picture is, forget the rugby and let’s hope that people are safe and any damage is minor.
Italy could have qualified with a highly unlikely bonus point win over the Kiwis, and both England and France will qualify anyway, respectively facing Australia and Wales.
The unfortunate side of the coin will be if the storm doesn’t dissipate by Sunday, the Scotland vs Japan match could be the third rugby casualty, a result that will see Japan qualify alongside Ireland and Scotland dipping out of the tournament in the worst way imaginable.
Whereas that’s not great for Scotland, or the tournament, the fact is, the tournament has very specific rules for cancelled matches
These rules were accepted and agreed on by all participants, as confirmed in the World Rugby press conference, so there is very little that can be done to change things at this stage.
Here’s a link to a thread by TheDeadBallArea on Twitter. It’s the most well thought out and knowledgable thing I’ve seen written on the subject and, as is said in another of their tweets, written by someone both trained in the field of Logistics and Emergency Response Management.
Honestly, it’s not a good look for the tournament. But it’s also not a situation the organisers would want to be in. Yeah, Japan suffers with tropical storms at this time of year, and yeah, there could have been better contingency plans in place, but there aren’t. The so called ‘experts’ on storms that have popped up with the “why was the tournament allowed to happen in Japan?” are using a helluva lot of hindsight. How many times in the past 6 years have people said this was a possibility? How many have said there’s a better contingency plan prior to this week? Short answer is none and nobody.
It’s been a tough week for all involved, and the Scotland v Japan match is currently not even cancelled at this point, so may all yet be a moot point.
The Italian camp are now saying this wouldn’t have happened if it was New Zealand that needed a win to qualify….. I call that as nonsense. If the agreed upon rules were changed to suit a team, the team then missing out would doubtlessly put in a legal challenge and we would have a huge old mess, potentially holding up the entire tournament until it was decided, inflammatory comments from Parrisse and O’Shea are not exactly helpful.
Away from rugby for a minute. Japan have done a grand job hosting the World Cup, I know many people who’ve been out there, or are still there and the pictures and stories I’ve seen shared have been sensational. They now face the biggest storm they’ve had in 20 years, 160mph winds are expected, this is not something to be taken lightly
I’d just like to reiterate that I hope wholeheartedly that there is no loss of life and no catastrophic damage. That’s what’s important right now.