Around the same time that Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe was breaking down the facts and figures of his Budget, the South Africans were crunching numbers and opponents of their own when hammering Canada 66-7 in Kobe.
There were some sobering stats for the Ireland brains trust – or any other potential quarter-final opponents – with the Springboks running in 10 tries, seven in the first half.
That opening half avalanche of scores also included the fastest hat-trick in tournament history from Cobus Reinach (11 minutes, if you must know) – set them on their way to 47-0 interval lead. It also seals their place in the last eight.
And to compound a bad day for the losers, they finished the game with 14 men when Josh Larsen, who came on for the injured Kyle Baillie in the 12th minute, was sent off in the 36th minute for an illegal clearout on Thomas du Toit, driving his shoulder into the head and neck area of the Springboks prop.
Larsen’s dismissal was the sixth red card of the 2019 Rugby World Cup – the highest tally of sending offs in the tournament’s history. The debate about tackle technique is an area that Brendan O’Brien addressed in conversation with Andy Farrell whose son Owen has been on the receiving end of some dangers hits in recent weeks.
The other big strike which everyone has been worked about is where and when Super Typhoon Hagibis will hit this weekend. The latest forecasting models predict that the 170mph storm is set to make landfall in southern Japan by Saturday – which means Ireland’s match against Samoa in Fukuoaka looks less likely to face disruption.
Alas, the same can’t be said for the grudge game between England and France.
World Rugby said in a statement it had “robust contingency plans” in place should the typhoon hit the weekend pool matches. We are still waiting to see them.
And least the clouds have cleared for Joey Carbery (enough of the weather puns, please) and he has declared himself finally fully fit and ready to repay Ireland’s faith for taking him to the World Cup when carrying an ankle injury. It’s been a miserable run of starts and stops for Carbery since sustained the knock in a World Cup warm-up game in August.
Though the 23-year-old came off the bench in the 19-12 loss to Japan, he was a late withdrawal from the bonus-point win over Russia.
And Carbery admits he wants to prove Joe Schmidt and company made the right call in bringing him to the World Cup: “The coaches showed a lot of faith in me and I’m very grateful for it. I want to repay that faith now. I want to go out and do the job and show them that they weren’t wrong; that’s definitely in the back of my mind.”
Taking a break from his rugby duties, Donal Lenihan spent a few hours visiting the city of Hiroshima which entered the history books on August 6th, 1945 when the United States dropped its first atomic bomb from a B-29 bomber plane called the Enola Gay. The device, nicknamed “Little Boy” exploded with about 13 kilotons of force, leveling five square miles of the city and killing 80,000 people instantly. Tens of thousands more would later die from radiation exposure. Donal’s visit to the city’s museum quickly puts rugby and sport into perspective.