Fan's view: After 2019 competition wins over just Italy, Russia and Samoa, is Townsend's time up?

It has been alarming to watch Scotland’s decline over the past 18 months. This result shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone. Other teams have advanced and we, patently, have not.
Is Gregor Townsend's time up as Scotland head coach?Is Gregor Townsend's time up as Scotland head coach?
Is Gregor Townsend's time up as Scotland head coach?

Six of the eight quarter-finalists at this Rugby World Cup are quality teams, Ireland and France not so, but even they are a decent way ahead of Scotland who are simply not good enough to be anywhere near the last eight.

And here is some further news - it will be even harder in France in four years' time.

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In 2011 we were also eliminated in the pool stages by losing games narrowly to late tries by Amorosino of Argentina and Ashton of England. These are both handy teams at world cups even when they aren’t on top form. The losses this time were not narrow, Scotland were well beaten in Yokohama twice.

The scoreboard might not have shown this in the Japan match but in reality we were soundly beaten all over the pitch.

The momentum that Scotland had built up in the wins over easy beats Samoa and Russia lasted for all of seven minutes, until Greig Laidlaw had converted Finn Russell’s well taken opening try.

Thereafter it was one-way traffic. Japan dominated the ball for the remainder of the half, the possession percentages were terrifyingly one sided in the hosts' favour.

Japan may have caught Ireland cold, so they definitely were not a surprise package coming into this match. We knew what was going to hit us. If you kick the ball away to Japan you will probably not see it for a while, so why did Scotland keep doing this?

And, if you are kicking then it has to be bang-accurate and Scotland’s kicking was far from on the money.

The host nation played at a level Scotland could not hope to match. Their execution of skills at high pace was breathtaking in the first half. The feeling of absolute deflation going in 21-7 down at half time was enormous.

The fourth Japanese try immediately after half time, the second by wing Kenki Fukuoka in four minutes, killed off any hope of a Twickenham-style comeback.

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Mark Dodson, CEO of Scottish Rugby, came out swinging at the sport’s governing body in the fractured build-up to this match.

There are many at World Rugby who won’t be unhappy to see the back of him and the Scotland team after this limp exit.

Pre-tournament he said that he fully expected Scotland to reach the quarter finals of this world cup. Of the nine competition fixtures played in the 2019 Six Nations and RWC, Scotland have won just three, those being against Italy, Samoa and Russia.

Will Mr Dodson now be ordering a taxi for Gregor Townsend and putting in a call to Vern Cotter?

• You can follow Alisdair on Twitter at @ajshogg