Ireland light up Yokohama with James Ryan and the pack in bruising form 10 months ago

Ireland light up Yokohama with James Ryan and the pack in bruising form

Welcome to the World Cup, Scotland.

Rory Best was near tears during the national anthem. A couple Scotsmen were in tears. The Yokohama stage was set. Ireland were ready.

Joe Schmidt's men were tuned into things from the word go. Jordan Larmour, under all that pressure coming into the game, was safe as a house in the full back line. Johnny Sexton was controlling things as he so often does. It was only a matter of time.

James Ryan drew first blood.

Iain Henderson spotted a creak in the Scotland line and he drove straight through. Ireland were on for something. Sexton put Larmour through with a lovely wrap-around pass. He was stopped on the line but James Ryan was not going to be stopped.

He went from the ruck and though three Scotsmen tried, they tried in vain. Ryan, that big Blackrock bullock horsed them out of the way and had the ball grounded before they knew where they were.

There is no stopping that.

These lads were only getting going.

They piled on the pressure and within a couple of minutes, Ireland captain Rory Best had followed Ryan over. Sexton failed to add to it but it would take more than that to stop Ireland with their pack in this kind of mood.

Furlong wanted in on the act and with the aid of a shove from an inspired Rory Best, he was over and Ireland were in dreamland. 19-3 was the score at half-time.

From an Ireland perspective, everything was rosy apart from two worrying sights. Both Peter O'Mahony and Bundee Aki left the field with HIA's and they're already in race against time for game two against Japan.

As for Scotland, it was even worse with their flanker Hamish Watson having to be stretchered off after a nasty looking knee injury. The sight of Joe Schmidt down on the line clapping him off the field was a sporting one.