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.
Andy Farrell would have happily sacrificed a heavier deficit in the points difference column in exchange for a victory over Japan but if Ireland can return to form this Saturday it will have meant the lessons of that shock defeat have been learned.
And breathe... Nine days will separate yesterday’s highly unsatisfactory defeat of Russia in Kobe and Ireland’s final pool match, against Samoa in Fukuoka, and the sense from the outside looking in is of a squad that should relish the weekend break to come and the chance to switch off from rugby for a bit.
There is no talk of winning or losing in the Irish or the Russian camps this week. Nobody doubts which way the result will fall when they meet in Kobe tomorrow. This game will be about so much more than the numbers beside each nation’s name at the final whistle.
What goes on tour comes off on tour. That’s the mantra now after yesterday’s visit to a traditional Japanese onsen, or hot spring to you and me, by a troop of the Irish media corp and our Scottish brethren. Yep, over a dozen pasty westerners walking about naked in a giant bathing complex.
Not that Ireland haven’t enough to be getting on with, but there was little evidence in Scotland’s 34-0 defeat of Samoa in Kobe today that Gregor Townsend’s men are ready to rain on Japan’s World Cup parade come their decisive Pool A clash at the World Cup on Sunday October 13th.
Hard to believe four years have elapsed since Ireland’s painful World Cup quarter final exit at the hands of Argentina in Cardiff. As Joe Schmidt enters the twilight of his spectacularly successful reign at the helm of Irish rugby, the next six weeks will shape the epilogue of a brilliant period for Irish rugby.