Rugby

2019 Rugby World Cup – All to play for as Quarter Finals approach

The Group stages of the 2019 Rugby World Cup are reaching their conclusion, as teams battle it out to make one of the eight knockout phase positions by finishing in the top 2 of their Pool.

Most teams have just one Pool game left – and whilst some are assured of a Quarter Final place – or have already been eliminated – no actual placings are confirmed and the exact line ups of the Quarter Final are still unknown.

Here, we take a look at each Pool and see what is to play for – with a few surprise results already that have shaken up our pre tournament predictions.

POOL A – CURRENT STANDINGS

Japan P 3 W 3 D 0 L 0 TF 9 PF 87 PA 41 PD +46 BP 2 PTS 14
Ireland P 3 W 2 D 0 L 1 TF 11 PF 74 PA 22 PD +52 BP 3 PTS 11
Scotland P 2 W 1 D 0 L 1 TF 4 PF 37 PA 27 PD +10 BP 1 PTS 5
Samoa P 3 W 1 D 0 L 2 TF 7 PF 53 PA 81 PD -28 BP 1 PTS 5
Russia P 3 W 0 D 0 L 3 TF 1 PF 19 PA 99 PD -80 BP 0 PTS 0

Results & Remaining Games :

September 20: Japan 30-10 Russia
September 22: Ireland 27-3 Scotland
September 24: Russia 9-34 Samoa
September 28: Japan 19-12 Ireland
September 30: Scotland 34-0 Samoa
October 3: Ireland 35-0 Russia
October 5: Japan 38-19 Samoa

October 9: Scotland v Russia (0815 BST), Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa
October 12: Ireland v Samoa (1145 BST), Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium
October 13: Japan v Scotland (1145 BST), International Stadium Yokohama

Japan’s stunning victory over Ireland (above) has thrown this group wide open. There is still a chance that, despite winning their first three games, the host nation could not make the Quarter Finals. Scotland should see off Russia comfortably enough, meaning they will have a final game shootout with Japan for a qualification spot. Ireland will be holding their breath that a typhoon scheduled to hit Japan soon does not affect their final game with Samoa. They know it is ‘win and in’ but will very likely be as Pool runners up. The bonus points picked up by Ireland could prove to be crucial here – Scotland will need to pick up a bonus point or two themselves, as they could, potentially, win both remaining games and still not progress. Samoa and Russia are both already eliminated.

POOL B – CURRENT STANDINGS 

South Africa P 4 W 3 D 0 L 1 TF 27 PF 185 PA 36 PD +149 BP 3 PTS 15
New Zealand P 3 W 3 D 0 L 0 TF 22 PF 157 PA 22 PD +135 BP 2 PTS 14
Italy P 3 W 2 D 0 L 1 TF 14 PF 98 PA 78 PD +20 BP 2 PTS 10
Namibia P 3 W 0 D 0 L 3 TF 3 PF 34 PA 175 PD -141 BP 0 PTS 0
Canada P 3 W 0 D 0 L 3 TF 2 PF 14 PA 177 PD -163 BP 0 PTS 0

Results & Remaining Games :

September 21: New Zealand 23-13 South Africa
September 22: Italy 47-22 Namibia
September 26: Italy 48-7 Canada
September 28: South Africa 57-3 Namibia
October 2: New Zealand 63-0 Canada
October 4: South Africa 49-3 Italy
October 6: New Zealand 71-9 Namibia
October 8: South Africa 66-7 Canada
October 12: New Zealand v Italy (0545 BST), City of Toyota Stadium
October 13: Namibia v Canada (0415 BST), Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium

This Pool has gone pretty much as expected, with the Kiwis and Springboks looking certain to finish 1-2. Italy *could* spring what would be one of the biggest shocks in sporting history by gaining a bonus point win over New Zealand in their final game, but that seems as unlikely as it sounds. South Africa’s trouncing of Canada earlier today confirmed their Quarter Final position, but they know it will likely be as runners up to the Kiwis who so far have looked in sparkling form and peaking at the right time. Although Italy are not yet out, both Namibia and Canada are l0ng gone but both will be looking to win their matchup to avoid finishing bottom of the Pool.

POOL C – CURRENT STANDINGS

England  P 3 W 3 D 0 L 0 TF 17 PF 119 PA 20 PD +99 BP 3 PTS 15
France  P 3 W 3 D 0 L 0 TF 9 PF 79 PA 51 PD +28 BP 1 PTS 13
Argentina P 3 W 1 D 0 L 2 TF 7 PF 59 PA 74 PD -15 BP 2 PTS 6
Tonga P 3 W 0 D 0 L 3 TF 5 PF 36 PA 86 PD -50 BP 1 PTS 1
United States P 2 W 0 D 0 L 2 TF 1 PF 16 PA 78 PD -62 BP 0 PTS 0

Results & Remaining Games :

September 21: France 23-21 Argentina
September 22: England 35-3 Tonga
September 26: England 45-7 USA
September 28: Argentina 28-12 Tonga
October 2: France 33-9 USA
October 5: England 39-10 Argentina
October 6: France 23-21 Tonga
October 9: Argentina v USA (0545 BST), Kumagaya Rugby Stadium
October 12: England v France (0915 BST), International Stadium Yokohama
October 13: USA v Tonga (0645 BST), Hanazono Rugby Stadium

France’s opening game victory over Argentina, coupled with England’s third game win over the Pumas, means both Six Nations teams will progress from this Pool, though in which order will not be known until their game on October 12. England have impressed so far and the general feeling is that there is more to come from Eddie Jones’ men, who will want to win the Pool and keep this winning mentality going. France continue to flit between fantastic and frustrating, but will be heartened to progress from this Pool and make the knockout phase. Argentina have disappointed, whilst Tonga and the USA will, as with Namibia & Canada, will be looking to avoid taking the Pool wooden spoon.

POOL D – CURRENT STANDINGS 

Australia P 3 W 2 D 0 L 1 TF 16 PF 109 PA 60 PD +49 BP 3 PTS 11
Wales P 2 W 2 D 0 L 0 TF 8 PF 72 PA 39 PD +33 BP 1 PTS 9
Fiji P 3 W 1 D 0 L 2 TF 14 PF 93 PA 79 PD +14 BP 3 PTS 7
Georgia P 3 W 1 D 0 L 2 TF 8 PF 57 PA 95 PD -38 BP 1 PTS 5
Uruguay P 3 W 1 D 0 L 2 TF 5 PF 47 PA 105 PD -58 BP 0 PTS 4

Results & Remaining Games :

September 21: Australia 39-21 Fiji
September 23: Wales 43-14 Georgia
September 25: Fiji 27-30 Uruguay
September 29: Georgia 33-7 Uruguay
September 29: Australia 25-29 Wales
October 3: Georgia 10-45 Fiji
October 5: Australia 45-10 Uruguay
October 9: Wales v Fiji (1045 BST), Oita Stadium
October 11: Australia v Georgia (1115 BST), Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa
October 13: Wales v Uruguay (0915 BST), Kumamoto Stadium

Unless something ridiculous happens, Wales will win this Pool with Australia finishing as runners up. Uruguay’s surprise win over Fiji has meant that the Pacific Islanders cannot really expect to disturb the top 2, whilst the afore mentioned Uruguay and Georgia are already eliminated despite picking up a win each. The Wallabies will want a convincing final game performance over Georgia to take some momentum into the knockout phase, whilst Wales will want straight forward victories with no injuries or disciplinaries to worry about. There should be nothing much to see here from this Pool finishing off….but only the Welsh team really look like they can make an impact once this phase is over.

Once the final games have been played, the Quarter Final matchups will be known, with each Pool winner playing a Pool runner up. This is formatted as follows – and will throw up some very tasty last 8 fixtures :

Quarter-final 1: Winner Pool C v Runner-up Pool D, Oita Stadium
Quarter-final 2: Winner Pool B v Runner-up Pool A, Tokyo Stadium
Quarter-final 3: Winner Pool D v Runner-up Pool C, Oita Stadium
Quarter-final 4: Winner Pool A v Runner-up Pool B, Tokyo Stadium

The 2019 Rugby World Cup is really coming to the boil, and it will be fascinating to see how it all transpires.