Prelude to War: Japan Vs Russia
Soundtrack for today (It will make reading this post 10x better, but if you get bored – 02:50 onwards for the Taiko drums):
Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for! After 4 years of build up, training, blood, sweat, tears & other bodily fluids, Rugby World Cup 2019 begins here. Coaches are ready to coach. Players are ready to play. Winners are ready to win, losers ready to lose, warriors ready to warrior. France are ready to France. England are 34.6574366666…% fitter. Gatland has oiled up his balls. Howley is hoping that after all this effort, his 5 way accumulator bet comes off. I, for the record, blame Gatland.
So today we Japan-ease-y into the tournament with a nice little warmup of an opener. This skirmish is merely the prelude to a much larger battle coming tomorrow, but the last time Japan played Russia it was closer than Japan would have felt comfortable with.
Nothing against Russia, I just have a mild allergy to Novichok & Polonium, so let’s get behind Japan in and cheer them off to a good start to the home tournament. With all those words said, here’s the skinny on today’s opening game:
Russia: Artemyev; Davydov, Ostroushko, Gerasimov, Golosnitskiy; Kushnarev, Dorofeev; Morozov, Selskii, Gotovtsev, Ostrikov, Fedotko, Zhivatov, Gadzhiev, Vavilin
Replacements: Matveev, Polivalov, Bitiev, Garbuzov, Sychev, Perov, Gaisin, Sozonov
Toyko Stadium, 19:45JST, 11:45 UK Time.
Broadcasting starts from 10:30 on ITV, including opening ceremony.
Referee: Nigel Owens
Assistants: Nick Berry & Matthew Carley
TMO: Ben Skeen