Schmidt stands exposed as unsuspecting Ireland walk straight into Japan’s ambush

The hosts made sure that yesterday’s match was played on their terms – and Joe Schmidt and Ireland simply had no answer

Isileli Nakajima (left), Japan’s prop-forward, is all smiles after his team’s sensational win over Ireland yesterday in Shizuoka Pic: Getty

Well, no one saw that coming. Joe Schmidt certainly didn’t. Prior to yesterday, he had yet to lose to a tier-two nation as Ireland manager; and after claiming three Six Nations titles and a couple of All Black scalps in his six-year tenure, the New Zealander was destined to go down in Irish rugby history as the greatest coach the country has ever had. Well, you can press pause on that thought because ...