Scotland eliminated from Rugby World Cup after losing 28-21 to hosts Japan


Scotland have become the first Home Nation side to be eliminated from the Rugby World Cup after losing 28-21 to Japan in their final group stage match.

Gregor Townsend's side went into their final clash with hosts Japan knowing that they needed to secure an impressive victory to stand any chance of qualifying for the knockout stages, but it was something they simply couldn't do.

The Scots went into the game off the back of two impressive victories, defeating both Samoa and Russia to nil, 34-0 and 61-0 respectively, but beating Japan was simply one step too far, and they will now be on the next flight home back to Scotland.

Weirdly enough, they actually started the game on the front foot and quickly raced into a 7-0 lead, but the fighting spirit of the Japanese was on full show from there on out.

The 7-0 lead was quickly thrown away and then by half-time, the Scots were 21-7 down, needing a minor miracle to save their World Cup.

If they needed a minor miracle going into the interval, they need a major one minutes into the second half as Japan scored yet another try to extend their lead to 28-7.

Just for a brief time, it looked like the Scots were going to break the hearts of the host nation, as they scored two quick tries to give the scoreboard a better look for themselves. With 20 minutes left, it was 28-21.

Questions will also be asked about Townsend's future as the coach, especially considering they didn't even make it out of the group stage.

Their performances against the lesser opposition cannot be questioned, but when they needed to step up and perform in the big matches, they simply came up short.


They were convincingly beaten by Ireland in their tournament opener, scoring just three points in a 27-3 defeat, and they were not much better in the crunch tie with Japan.

More misery for Scottish sport, and the rugby side will now have to face all the criticism and scrutiny that comes their way.

As for Japan, whilst parts of their country is being torn apart due to typhoons, their rugby players are doing the whole nation proud as they head into the knockout stages.

The longer they are in this tournament, the better.

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