DURBAN – The World Cup leadership will wait until Sunday morning to make a decision on whether the Japan versus Scotland match will be played. I will be on my knees in prayer to the rugby and weather gods that the final match of the group stages takes place.
But even if it doesn’t, hopefully common sense will prevail and the match can still take place on Monday. There is just so much at stake and it would be criminal for Scotland to lose out on the possibility of a quarter-final because of a cancelled fixture.
World Rugby has been bullish is saying there will be no exception made for Scotland because no exceptions were made for New Zealand and Italy, and England and France respectively. Both those matches have already been cancelled.
The All Blacks were guaranteed finishing top of their table and Italy were never going to threaten the All Blacks. England and France had both qualified for the quarter-finals, so it is also understandable that there hasn’t been an objection from the confirmed quarter-finalists to the matches being called off.
But imagine being Scotland? I know if the situation was specific to the Springboks, our passionate and fanatical support base would be in revolt. The players, coaches and administration would be feeling crushed at the unfairness of a situation that isn’t entirely beyond World Rugby’s control.