By Ros Satar
- Typhoon Hagibis scuppers England and France’s final pool clash
- Scotland face agonising wait to see if they still play for a chance to qualify
- Ireland should be safe for their deciding match on 12 October
- Qualification scenarios for the Home Nations
JAPAN – The Rugby World Cup final pool stages have been thrown into chaos as Typhoon Hagibis sees matches cancelled and Scotland face an agonising wait as to whether they will be allowed to play.
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A super-typhoon is set to hit Japanese land fall this weekend, expected to cause havoc to Tokyo and surrounding areas. The Rugby World Cup organisers have been forced to cancel a number of matches, including this weekend’s fixture between Pool leaders England and France.
While Ireland’s match against Samoa in Fukuoka is still on as it stands, Scotland (in the same group) have to wait for a later decision for their clash with hosts Japan on Sunday.
As reported by BBC Sport, tournament director Alan Gilpin said: “The decision to cancel matches has not been taken lightly. It has been made with the best interest of team, public, and tournament volunteer safety as a priority based on expert advice.”
What does this mean for the Home Nations?
England and France had already secured their spots in the knock-out stages by virtue of three wins, so a draw with two points awarded to each mean they end the pool stages unbeaten, but as England scored more bonus points for tries awarded, they will top Pool C with France second.
The Six Nations champions currently top Pool D but Australia and Georgia are due to play on 11 October, with Wales realistically expected to top the pool when they meet outsiders (and currently bottom of the table) Uruguay on 13 October.
Ireland are currently second in the table behind hosts Japan, and will qualify for the quarter-final with a win, regardless of if they get a bonus point.
All of which brings us to Scotland. Japan have undoubtedly been the story of the tournament with their win over Ireland, and their victory over Samoa has put them at the top of the table. If their clash against Scotland is cancelled, then a draw will see them into the last eight for the first time.
If Ireland lose on the 12 October, then Scotland will progress with a draw. However if Ireland claim a losing bonus point or a draw, the Scotland will have to hope they can indeed play Japan the day after, and have to win to deny Ireland their quarter-final spot.
If Ireland win, then Scotland have to play for a victory with no bonus points for either side, and will squeak past Japan for a place in the quarter-finals.
If all three finish on 15 points, then the points difference will determine who goes forward.
What are these bonus points that are so crucial?
Teams get four points for a win, and two for a draw. A bonus point is awarded for scoring four tries or for a defeat by seven points or fewer.
The winners and runners-up in each pool qualify for the quarter-finals, and if two teams are tied at the group stages, then the winner of the match between the two tied teams will be ranked higher, together with the rule of the three-team points difference.
Who plays who in the quarter-finals?
|19 October||England||Runner-up, Pool D|
|New Zealand||Runner-up, Pool A|
|20 October||Winner, Pool D||France|
|Winner, Pool A||South Africa|
The Rugby World Cup 2019 takes place between 20 September – 2 November
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