Quarterfinals: Even unbeaten Japan not safe as the play-offs race heats up

Quarterfinals: Even unbeaten Japan not safe as the play-offs race heats up

No, the quarterfinalists have not been determined yet. Even Japan, with a three from three record, could be ousted as the Rugby World Cup moves to the final pool stages.

An analysis of the log below will show that only New Zealand, England and France can no longer be ousted from the top two in their pools.

In Pool A unbeaten Japan (14 points) still have to play Scotland, whose other remaining match is against Russia. A bonus-point win against Japan while withholding the latter from a bonus point will see Scotland reach 15 log points, one ahead of Japan if one accepts a likely bonus point win for Scotland against Russia as a given.

Ireland also have a tough last match. They simply have to beat Samoa with a bonus point that will put them safely into the quarters, whatever happens in other matches.

In Pool B New Zealand predictably booked their first place and a quarterfinal berth with a resounding victory of 71-9 over Namibia. They scored 11 tries, two more than S outh Africa’s nine against the same opponents which until Sunday was the try record for the 2019 WCR..

It was of course crown-pleasing rugby (who can play that kind of better than the All Blacks?) but the game was marred by too many handling errors by the winners, although that could be put down to the humidity and a slightly wet ball.

South Africa could still be ousted, should Italy achieve the unthinkable and beat New Zealand and the Boks lose to Canada. Bonus points will then be the decider.

In Pool C England have a full house of 15 points and still have to play France.
Judged by Sunday’s 23-21 win against Tonga, France have little chance of an upset, but they cannot be overhauled by third-placed Argentina after beating the South Americans in their opener. Argentina then succumbed to England this weekend after losing their lock Thoms Lavanini to a red card 17 minutes into the game.

France dominated the match but let the Tongans in for two tries after long spells of gutsy defence by the Islanders to book their quarterfinal place.

 In Pool D Australia are through while Wales have a possible tough one depending on which Fiji side will turn up. Even if Fiji beat Wales, the latter still have an easy run against Uruguay in the tournaments penultimate match to secure their place.

Summary –

Looking at a summary of the total picture, the following teams are either through or can still make it to the play-offs.

Pool A
Japan, Ireland (both likely) and Scotland (if they can beat Japan with a bonus point and also win against Russia)

Pool B
New Zealand have already qualified and South Africa, who need a bonus-point win against Canada, are well-placed. To qualify ahead of the Springboks Italy will have to beat New Zealand with a bonus point and hope South Africa lose to Canada

Pool C
England and France are in the quarterfinals.

Pool D
Australia are through and Wales are close. They have to beat Uruguay should they lose to Fiji to keep the latter from second place. 

Pools after Sunday 6 October

Pool A - Round 4

 

 

POS

TEAM

P

W

L

D

PF

PA

PD

BP

PTS

 

1

Japan

3

3

0

0

87

41

46

2

14

 

2

Ireland

3

2

1

0

74

22

52

3

11

 

3

Samoa

3

1

2

0

53

81

-28

1

5

 

4

Scotland

2

1

1

0

37

27

10

1

5

 

5

Russia

3

0

3

0

19

99

-80

0

0

Pool B - Round 4

             

 

POS

TEAM

P

W

L

D

PF

PA

PD

BP

PTS

 

1

New Zealand

3

3

0

0

157

22

135

2

14

 

2

Italy

3

2

1

0

98

78

20

2

10

 

3

South Africa

3

2

1

0

119

29

90

2

10

 

4

Canada

2

0

2

0

7

111

-104

0

0

 

5

Namibia

3

0

3

0

34

175

-141

0

0

Pool C - Round 4

             

 

POS

TEAM

P

W

L

D

PF

PA

PD

BP

PTS

 

1

England

3

3

0

0

119

20

99

3

15

 

2

France

3

3

0

0

79

51

28

1

13

 

3

Argentina

3

1

2

0

59

74

-15

2

6

 

4

Tonga

3

0

3

0

36

86

-50

1

1

 

5

USA

2

0

2

0

16

78

-62

0

0

Pool D -  Round 4

             

 

POS

TEAM

P

W

L

D

PF

PA

PD

BP

PTS

 

1

Australia

3

2

1

0

109

60

49

3

11

 

2

Wales

2

2

0

0

72

39

33

1

9

 

3

Fiji

3

1

2

0

93

79

14

3

7

 

4

Georgia

3

1

2

0

57

95

-38

1

5

 

5

Uruguay

3

1

2

0

47

105

-58

0

4