Ireland need a statement victory; Liverpool win wild Anfield night

The Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the Rugby World Cup with The Irish Times sports team

Ireland’s players ahead of their Rugby World Cup Pool A match against Russia, in Kobe. Photograph: Yohei Fukuyama/Kyodo News via AP

Ireland’s players ahead of their Rugby World Cup Pool A match against Russia, in Kobe. Photograph: Yohei Fukuyama/Kyodo News via AP

Ireland need a statement victory in this morning’s no-win game against Russia. In his preview from Kobe, Gerry Thornley writes that a psychological pick-me-up and vital bonus point are there for the taking in the team’s third pool match. “Russia have lost their six World Cup matches by an average margin of 31 points. Something along those lines, with that bonus point, would suffice.” Patrick Madden has prepared an all you need to know guide, including kick-off time, TV channels, team news and more, and you can read that here.

Ireland must endure the purgatory of intense humidity during their showdown with the Russians . Gavin Cummiskey, writing from Kobe, explains: “everything curious is indoors and soaring upwards in Japan. Each return to the hotel room demands a cold shower. To destickify. Press rooms at stadiums are glacial but it is inhumanely hot under the Misaki dome.” Keith Duggan was at the Japan press conference yesterday, where the Brave Blossoms continue their fruitful pursuit of happiness: “The sun has never shone so brightly on Japanese rugby as this week.”

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