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Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Blossoms can put up a braver fight in second Test

Ireland's young guns in line for another workout

Ireland fly-half Paddy Jackson in action against Japan
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Premier Sports, 6.40am Saturday

Ireland's blend of youth and experience has delivered two assured performances on their summer tour and they are 25-point favourites for the second Test in Japan.

The tour has not only allowed coach Joe Schmidt to blood eight new caps, it has also given the opportunity for some of the more experienced personnel to play a leading role.

Fly-half Paddy Jackson seems to have revelled in the chance to step out from the shadow of Jonathan Sexton and he pulled the strings with a masterful touch in last week’s 50-22 victory over the Brave Blossoms.

It was a convincing victory as Ireland hit the 30-point mark with barely half an hour played.

Japan failed to register a try until almost an hour in, but they are a sharp attacking side and after last week’s chastening they can be expected to rediscover their scoring touch.

Ireland shipped 19 points in the final 20 minutes as the heat began to have an effect and this match may play out to a similar pattern, especially as Schmidt looks sure to use his bench to the full. Japan look equipped to make the rematch a touch closer.

Earlier in the day Scotland take on Fiji (3.30am BST) buoyed by last weekend’s brilliant win over Australia.

Fly-half Finn Russell is among the players who have joined up with the Lions so Peter Horne takes his place in a mix-and-match team. The Scots are nine-point favourites for the showdown in Suva.

Recommendation
Ireland to win by 11 to 20 points
1pt 3-1 Coral, Ladbrokes

Ireland shipped 19 points in the final 20 minutes as the heat began to have an effect
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