Rugby World Cup: Japan v Scotland / Wales v Uruguay5 min read
Japan face Scotland in a huge clash in Yokohama on Sunday which will decide which team advances to the quarter-finals, although Typhoon Hagibis is threatening to scupper the showdown.
Brave Blossoms on verge of first quarter-final
Assuming the match goes ahead, it should be a pulsating encounter with hosts Japan on the brink of reaching the knockout stage of the World Cup for the first time.
The Brave Blossoms have delighted home fans and enhanced the competition with their form during the pool stage. Three victories, including a stunning win against Ireland, have put them on course for the quarter-finals although the job is still not complete.
A win or draw will be enough for Japan although a narrow defeat could also still see them through.
Jamie Joseph’s side produced an outstanding performance to defeat Ireland 19-12 in their second match to take control of the group.
Japan left it late to snatch a bonus-point win in their 38-19 win over Samoa last week which could ultimately prove crucial in the final standings.
Scotland facing huge challenge to progress
Scotland are desperate for the match to go ahead as they must win the game and will need to prevent Japan from claiming a losing bonus point.
Gregor Townsend’s side have been facing an uphill challenge since their deflating opening defeat to Ireland.
Scotland have responded strongly since this early setback though, easing to a 34-0 win against Samoa before scoring nine tries in their 61-0 thrashing of Russia.
Japan have a poor record against Scotland but this current team are a totally different proposition and have won six of their last seven World Cup matches.
With momentum and the crowd on their side, Japan appeal with a three-point handicap advantage against Scotland to seal a landmark achievement by reaching the quarter-finals.
Wales to seal top spot in style
Wales complete the pool stage with a match against Uruguay and a victory will ensure top spot and a quarter-final against France.
Warren Gatland’s side have looked very sharp in Japan with three victories seeing them take charge of the group.
Wales came into the World Cup with high hopes after winning the Six Nations Grand Slam and the early signs have been promising.
A dominant first-half performance set up their thrilling 29-25 victory against Australia which gave them control of the pool.
Wales were given a scare on Wednesday after trailing Fiji early on but a hat-trick from Josh Adams secured a 29-17 win.
Uruguay can be proud of their World Cup campaign and pulled off a huge upset after defeating Fiji in their opener.
It has been much tougher since though with a 33-7 loss to Georgia followed by a 45-10 defeat against Australia.
But Uruguay will bow out with credit and are capable of pushing Wales close given a big handicap advantage.
The only previous meeting resulted in a 54-9 win for Wales at the last World Cup although Uruguay have certainly progressed since then.
Adams is one of just two players kept in the Wales team from the last match and he will sense a great chance to become the top tryscorer in the World Cup.
The Wales winger has scored four times already and is worth backing to open the scoring at 4/1 in a comfortable victory.
Japan +3 to beat Scotland
Josh Adams to be first tryscorer