The final Rugby World Cup pool game that almost never was came to life in Yokohama.

What always promised to be a frantic, fascinating finale to the group stages, one to determine the All Blacks' quarter-final opponent, did not disappoint.

The All Blacks will face Joe Schmidt's Ireland in their juicy match-up. But, for now, analysis of that knockout scene can wait.


Japan and Scotland deserve their moment to take a bow. Whether you were an emotionally-invested viewer or not, their contest was enthralling, an epic for the ages.

From a pure sporting perspective, how cruel it would have