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From Tom English
BBC Scotland
After Scotland finished their call-to-arms media conference on Saturday at Takanawa in Tokyo, it appeared that 100 days had passed since they first met up as a team to prepare for the World Cup.
One hundred days of coaching sessions and meetings, of previews and testimonials, of games and travel and preparation for the opener against Ireland.
Sunday was day 101, that was kind of suitable given its connotations since George Orwell (an anagram of his name being Ell Gregor Woe) composed about folks being tormented in his book Nineteen Eighty-Four. You and you have Room 101 and Rugby 101; Townsend present and Orwell’s dystopian future, respectively.
It’s hard to know how many times the management and players of Scotland spoke during these first 100 times, however it was from the heaps. Fighting talk, too. They gave about how good they may be it large and threw their shoulders back.
Ahead of the Ireland match, they talked about how hard they’d been working on defence, how much they were going to goal Johnny Sexton, the way the herd of rampaging wildebeest would not make them take a backward step from the Irish, how they had been saving their own best stuff for your World Cup.
Obviously the Scots have to back themselves. They needed to provide a performance and they never came close, although they also pass a World Cup death sentence independently and could don the cap. Should they came on in the first place, their lights went out early.
Scotland are sold. They win a few games and everybody becomes giddy, including us at the media, when reporting on this team who are starved of joy which every big victory at Murrayfield is thought of as a turning point.
It only becomes a turning point when they really turn, not prior to entering reverse by delivering just one win in five games in the recent Six Nations when they approach the turn. They have a single triumph.
After a few minutes in Yokohamathey surrendered the very first try. By the moment the Iain Henderson conducted free of Stuart McInally along with Grant Gilchrist, you knew that the score came.
You would have bet the house on it as the dent always comes from those moments. Scotland’s defence was slow to get round the corner at the next ruck and James Ryan moved over. Easy.
After 14 minutes, then they conceded a pushed line-out tries off. Anyone who watches that Scotland team would have gone once the that maul, more began to move forward. Some teams have the company and belligerence to maintain teams outside in those times. If their defence is worried Scotland fold. Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt knows better than anyone. He performed it.
A one arrived away from a Scotland error down the end of this field. A scrum, a few hard-running out of CJ Stander, much more slackness from Scotland and yet another soft touch try, this one from Tadhg Furlong. Not half an hour played and the game has been completed. One hundred times of prep – because of this?
There’s a view out there – shared by a number of the gamers who Scotland have faced in recent times – that a few of these have to say to themselves when it concerns the abilities of the team. Individuals who have won things in this sport listen incredulously into the discussion from several Scotland players and coaches about wanting to play with rugby in the world’s fastest brand – a mantra repeated by one of the number after the beating of Sunday.
Ireland and scotland are cousins however in terms that are rugby there’s no relation. This year has been hard their form diminished, for all these Irish gamers, their confidence ruined, their critics louder and louder. They have not been protected by any amount of silverware from their 2018 .
They guys, however. Relentless. Tough emotionally and physically. Power of personality – and high quality of trainer and player – looks to be acquiring them. They’re a force which will have drunk in Scotland’s chat and gently fed it off.
Only the hopelessly optimistic (or delusional) Scotland fan would have predicted a victory on Sunday. There was little evidence to indicate it was probable. Ireland had won five of their six meetings since Schmidt entered the scene as trainer. They scored 21 tries in these matches and won by an average of 14 points.
Yes, their 2019 kind was poor up over Wales in Dublin, but that win indicated they were getting back to the things they once were. It was a portent of doom for the Scots.
Ireland were hot favourites and there could have been little shame in Scotland dropping to them. They talked the talk and then fell into a heap. The galling thing isn’t that Scotland lost, it’s that Scotland never turned up.
Townsend’s entry in the aftermath they lacked aggression and energy at the start of the game was a shocker though we had heard, and seen, the same thing before. And recently. And over once.
When passive in a 32-3 defeat France at Nice, the Scotland defence coach, Matt Taylor, talked about the group’s lack of urgency.
“On reflection, perhaps we should have poked and prodded and fired up the boys over we all ever did,” he said.
They need prodding to get up themselves for a Test match and poking?
“We just left it to the players to get themselves in the perfect frame of mind,” he added. “With it becoming a warm-up game in a nice place like Nice, we only assumed that amount of intensity was likely to be there also and it wasn’t.”
It was not there in Yokohama for a World Cup match, it wasn’t there in Nice, it was not there at the opening half an hour in Twickenham when England scored four attempts, it wasn’t there against Wales and Ireland at Edinburgh or from France in Paris.
In their 11 matches, Scotland have conceded 12 attempts in the opening 14 minutes. At precisely exactly the identical interval, Ireland have conceded two. The absence of aggression and power is a weakness that Townsend has not fixed.
On Monday they head to get Kobe, in which they perform Samoa per week afterwards. Shorn of fund and their players poached by other nations, the Pacific Islanders continue to be exposed to the treatment by the world game. They have lost to the USA, Fiji and Australia in their previous three games, however there were signs against the Wallabies that they’re starting to put something together again. Four years back, the wits frightened .
Nothing that Samoa, or Japan, will have observed on Sunday will provide them some concern. The set of them remain underdogs but they will smack a giant target on the backs of all these Scotland gamers and go afterwards with aim. A venomous intent.
The states have met on the watch of Townsend. It had been in the fall of 2017, a 44-38 win in Murrayfield. Scotland scored six tries daily. Samoa believed five. Scotland should win this match, but they will be battered in the process. This week will probably be grim. They are in a hole today. A deep one.

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