Much of the buildup to the World Cup this autumn has been dominated by Ireland's quarter final hoodoo. We have never been beyond that stage of the tournament, and getting to the semis this time will be no easy task.
South Africa have transformed into a real world power over the past 18 months, and there is no guarantee that New Zealand will even beat them at the pool stage. No matter who Ireland face, they will likely enter the game as underdogs.
That is of course assuming Ireland even win the pool. Everyone just assumes we will beat Scotland, and recent history suggests that will be the case. Still, complacency in a World Cup is incredibly dangerous, something Ireland know better than most.
And what of Japan, the hosts of the tournament? They have had this autumn circled on their calendar for the last 10 years, when it was announced they would host the event.
They have been attempting to build a competitive team ever since, the early signs of which were displayed in the last World Cup. They stunned the world by defeating South Africa on that occasion, and the world took notice.
Despite this, they have been largely disregarded by most in the buildup to this tournament. That probably suits them, although they did serve a timely reminder of what they are all about yesterday.
They took on the USA in a warm up match, a game they would win 34-20. While that is not an eye-catching result when you consider the Americans' standing in the sport, there were signs of what is to come from the Asian nation.
Take a look at this for a try. You may not see a better one over the coming months.
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) August 11, 2019
As if Ireland needed something else to worry about, this will serve a timely reminder of what is to come.