World Rugby have a storm to weather:

I didn’t want to go here, let alone start here, but both literally and metaphorically the storm is now too big to ignore.

Let’s outline the obvious. Lives are at risk and the safety of civilians takes priority over any form of sport.

Furthermore, the logistics of games switching venues at such short notice isn’t feasible - and neither is the concept Japan v Scotland should be afforded extra time because of what rides on it. When World Rugby cancelled Italy v New Zealand and awarded both teams two points a precedent was firmly set.

What’s inconceivable though, is authorities had no concrete provisions in place for such a scenario.

This World Cup was awarded to Japan in 2009. It has long been scheduled to take place during typhoon season. Implementing proposals to allow affected group games a 48-hour buffer period would not have been revolutionary - just basic common sense.

Twitter may tell you otherwise - but expressing the above views does not make you a self-appointed typhoon expert, or a wannabe meteorologist, or even insensitive to the fact three people were killed in the last such episode to hit Tokyo a month ago.

It means you’re alert to a major World Rugby failing that has dented the integrity of this World Cup.

Should the worse happen to Scotland on Sunday, said integrity won’t be so much dented as battered.

No flash in the (Ja)pan:

The potential chaos is not the fault of the Japanese people though, and the host nation has embraced this World Cup with immeasurable passion.

And to boot, they now have a national side capable of regularly testing the elite.

Few World Cup moments have been more spectacular than the Cherry Blossoms beating South Africa in Brighton four years ago, but that had the feeling of a glorious one off, a stunning comeback win in a game where both sides went out to thrill.

Their performance against Ireland however, felt like anything but.

When 12-3 down early on in adverse weather, they remained composed. Patient in attack, steely and disciplined in defence, they ultimately forced Ireland into mistakes and capitalised. Many would have expected things to unfold the other way around.

Winger Kotaro Matsushima is said to have epitomised his country in this World Cup with flair, pace and ambition, but the fact is Japan can now mix it with the best both up front and out wide.

Dangerous play rules are right – but could mean confusing consequences:

It’s irrelevant if you have footage of the old boys throwing clotheslines. It’s irrelevant if you think the game's gone soft. It’s irrelevant if Owen Farrell got away with one last November.

The laws on what constitutes dangerous play have been set out and as professional players, there is a duty to abide by them.

By virtue of that, many of the red card offences in this World Cup have derived from brainless play, let alone dangerous. The feigned aghast reactions even more so.

However, whilst these measures reflect the escalating physicality and safety issues surrounding the game, a big conundrum is unwittingly emerging.

The amateur game must mirror the professional one in terms of rules and regulations. Especially if youngsters are going to make the transition between the two.

Much of the foul play going punished in this World Cup is being done so after touch judge or TMO intervention. That is all well and good when you have multi-million pound equipment at your disposal.

When you don’t, like local club rugby referees every weekend, the rules are simply impossible to implement – even if the flag waving team manager is effing and blinding about a shoulder charge behind your back.

We seem set to move forward with the amateur and professional game very much out of sync with each other on discipline. And that’s worrying.

Fiji thrill by being Fiji:

For more than two decades now, Fiji have frustrated and entertained in equal measures.

Capable of the sublime, prone to the ridiculous. And whether they are pushing the likes of Australia and Wales to the limit, tearing up Georgia or even being beaten by Uruguay, it’s often spell binding to watch.

Of course there are wider arguments here. Calls for World Rugby to assist them financially, improve facilities, and help them hold on to their own national talent grow ever stronger and until such things are addressed, they won’t progress to a side capable of lifting the Webb Ellis trophy.

But their willingness to fly in the face of regimented game management and thrill via ferocious attack play and off-loading is compelling, and it is no coincidence that three of the most memorable contests in this tournament have involved them.

And perhaps, with all the modern day emphasis on defensive organisation and set piece structure, a little bit of Fiji’s chaotic flamboyance is exactly what international rugby needs right now.

‘Feeding’ is still a thing:

The rule that time (and scrum halves) forgot.

Sticklers for the laws, in other words referees, may argue Jaco Pepper was absolutely correct to penalise Samoa for feeding into the scrum in the dying seconds of their game against Japan.

Cynics will point towards the action of an official swept up in a tide of Toyota fuelled emotion, and a call inconsistent with every Rugby World Cup scrum that preceded it.

Both notions are probably correct.

The ‘feeding’ rule has long been ignored at all levels of the game. Scrums won against the head are now usually attributed to pack power, unless you have a hooker with an elasticated calf.

Indeed, I’ve kept a close eye on the No 9’s at scrum time since and sure enough, Pepper’s dubiously timed belligerence has failed to spark a tournament crackdown. In at the second row’s feet and away with it.

Forlornly no doubt, I hope Pepper’s call does reignite (yet) another proposal to scrutinise things and be consistent. Young hookers are originally introduced to two main arts – throwing in and heeling the ball back at scrum time. At this rate the latter skill will soon be futile.

Still a place for heart and guts:

Rugby has long elevated from an ethos of blood and thunder. It’s about professionalism, it’s about supreme conditioning, it’s about dieting, and structure, and power, and analysis, and tactics and GPS trackers, and……the list could go on a while.

And that’s why there was something gloriously simplistic about watching Uruguay produce the shock of the tournament by beating Fiji 30-27.

That’s not a patronising analysis, they attacked with a pace and precision that yielded three tries, but in the final quarter the sight of players giving everything whilst out on their feet was heartwarming. One of those rare situations where heart and desire overrides fatigue or structure.

The emotion at the final whistle, the hugs, the tears, were superior to any pay cheque.

For all the complexities that now accompany pre-game build ups, there’s still something to be said for simply going out there and giving it bloody everything.