2019 Rugby World Cup.

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Swami, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. Swami

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    New Zealand 63-0 Canada: All Blacks score nine tries in Rugby World Cup win

    2019 Rugby World Cup: New Zealand v Canada
    New Zealand:
    (28) 63
    Tries: Penalty try, J Barrett, Williams, B Barrett, Ioane, S Barrett, Frizell, Weber (2) Cons: Mo'unga (8)
    Canada: (0) 0
    Two-time defending champions New Zealand scored nine tries to thrash Canada and record their second convincing win at the 2019 World Cup.

    Brothers Beauden, Jordie and Scott Barrett all went over as the All Blacks hit this World Cup's highest score.

    They were given a penalty try after four minutes and Jordie Barrett, Sonny Bill Williams and Beauden Barrett also crossed before half-time.


    Scott Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Brad Weber and Shannon Frizell also scored.

    There were four tries in the first 10 minutes at the start of the second half as New Zealand tore their opponents' defence apart.

    The All Blacks move up to second in Pool B, one point behind Italy - out in front courtesy of two bonus-point wins - who they play after facing Namibia on Sunday.

    The victory extends New Zealand's winning run at World Cups to 16 matches - their last defeat was to France in the 2007 quarter-final - and continues their record of having never lost a pool game in the competition.

    All Blacks clinical at both ends of pitch
    [​IMG]
    New Zealand made 906m in the match compared to 291m by Canada
    This may not have been the most balanced encounter of the tournament - pitting the winners of the past two World Cups against the second-lowest ranked team in the tournament - but New Zealand's attack was devastating.

    They powered over the line inside 70 seconds but Canada were able to hold the ball up.

    However it wasn't long before the first try arrived and it did so in typically imposing fashion as New Zealand forced the Canada scrum back over the line under their own posts for a penalty try.

    The All Blacks had threats throughout their team with fly-half Richie Mo'unga, who also kicked eight conversions, pulling the strings and Beauden Barrett a constant menace from his new position of full-back.

    [​IMG]
    All Black replacement forward Ardie Savea made history as the first player to wear protective goggles during a World Cup match in the second half
    The Barrett brothers became the first sibling trio to start in a World Cup for New Zealand and the family hat-trick would have been completed even earlier had Scott not dropped the ball when over the line in the first half.

    Beauden also had the chance to score a 10th All Blacks try, and take the team's total to 70, but he inexplicably spilled the ball in the final minute when looking certain to score.

    On the rare occasions New Zealand did have to defend they did so clinically, turning the ball over to repel Canada when they ventured into their 22.

    New Zealand saw off one of their main rivals for the trophy, South Africa, in their first pool game and this emphatic win continues their ominous momentum as they bid for a third consecutive World Cup.

    [​IMG]
    Conditions were very difficult - reaction
    New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen: "We've just got to take that first 20 minutes of the second half and turn it into 80 minutes. If we can do that, we won't be too far away.

    "During that period, the team really came together and played good, controlled rugby.

    "In really difficult conditions, the humidity is unbelievable and whilst people at home will be wondering why we dropped a few balls, it's very, very difficult."

    The best stats from New Zealand's win
    • New Zealand have won each of their last 16 Rugby World Cup matches, the longest run by any side in the tournament's history, while they also boast a 100% win rate in pool stage matches at the World Cup (30/30).
    • Canada failed to score a single point for the second time in a Rugby World Cup game (0-20 v South Africa in 1995)
    • This is the 32nd time a match has been won by 60+ points at the Rugby World Cup, with New Zealand winning 13 of those matches, more than twice as many occasions as any other side (England, Australia both five).
    • Sonny Bill Williams and Sam Whitelock have each won their last 16 Rugby World Cup games, equalling Keven Mealamu for the all-time record of consecutive wins at the tournament.
    • Rieko Ioane has scored 24 tries in 27 Tests for the All Blacks; no other player has scored more than 18 in Tests since the winger made his debut in November 2016.
    • Richie Mo'unga slotted each of his eight kicks - only Leon MacDonald (12/12 v Tonga in 2003) has slotted more without missing for the All Blacks in a World Cup match.
    Teams
    New Zealand: B Barrett; J Barrett, Goodhue, Williams, Ioane; Mo'unga, Perenara; Moli, Coltman, Ta'avao, Tuipulotu, S Barrett, Frizell, Todd, Read (c).

    Replacements: Taylor, Tu'ungafasi, Laulala, Whitelock, Savea, Weber, Crotty, Smith.

    Canada: Parfrey, Hassler, Trainor, Hearn, Van Der Merwe; Nelson, McRorie; Sears-Duru, Howard, Keith; Olmstead, Keys; Rumball, Heaton, Ardron (c).

    Replacements: Quattrin, Buydens, Ilnicki, Sheppard, Larsen, Mack, Paris, Coe

    Swami
     
  2. Swami

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    Rugby World Cup: Fiji beat Georgia to claim first win of tournament






    [​IMG]
    Apisalome Ratuniyarawa scored one of seven Fiji tries against Georgia
    2019 Rugby World Cup: Georgia v Fiji
    Georgia:
    (3) 10
    Tries: Gorgodze Pens: Matiashvili Cons: Matiashvili
    Fiji: (7) 45
    Tries: Nayacalevu, Lomani, Tuisova, Radradra 2, Kunatani, Ratuniyarawa Cons: Volavola 5
    Fiji claimed their first win of this World Cup as six second-half tries saw them ease past Georgia in Higashiosaka.

    The Pacific Islanders took the lead through Waisea Nayacalevu but Soso Matiashvili's penalty reduced the deficit to four points at half-time.

    However second-half tries from Frank Lomani, Josua Tuisova, Semi Kunatani, Api Ratuniyarawa and two from Semi Radradra gave Fiji a bonus-point win.


    Mamuka Gorgodze got a consolation for Georgia as Fiji moved second in Pool D.

    Fiji were humbled by Uruguay in their last outing - albeit after only a four-day turnaround following the loss to Australia - but the backs, who scored five of their seven tries, ruthlessly took Georgia apart after the interval.

    They could have scored more but Nayacalevu dropped the ball with the line at his mercy as Georgia fell to their first tournament defeat to a Tier 2 nation.

    Their second biggest win at a World Cup means Fiji are likely to finish at least third in the pool - and with that gain qualification for the 2023 World Cup.

    The Islanders face Wales in their final pool game on Wednesday, 9 October (10:45 BST), while Georgia conclude their campaign against Australia on Friday, 11 October (11:15).

    Teams
    Georgia: Matiashvili; Kveseladze, Kacharava, Sharikadze, Todua; Khmaladze, Lobzhanidze; Nariashvili, Mamukashvili, Gigashvili, Nemsadze, Mikautadze, Tkhilaishvili, Gorgodze, Gorgadze

    Replacements: Bregvadze, Gogichashvili, Chilachava, Giorgadze, Saginadze, Aprasidze, Malaguradze, Modebadze

    Fiji: Murimurivalu; Tuisova, Nayacalevu, Botia, Radradra; Volavola, Lomani; Ma'afu, Matavesi, Saulo, Cavubati, Nakarawa, Waqaniburotu, Kunatani, Yato

    Replacements: Vugakoto, Ravai, Roy Atalifo, Ratuniyarawa, Mata, Matawalu, Vatubua, Matavesi

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  3. Swami

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    Ireland 35-0 Russia: Joe Schmidt's side labour to World Cup win
    [​IMG]
    By Michael Morrow

    [​IMG]
    Rob Kearney scored Ireland's opening try in the second minute
    2019 Rugby World Cup Pool A: Ireland v Russia
    Ireland (21) 35
    Tries:
    Kearney, O'Mahony, Ruddock, Conway, Ringrose Cons: Sexton 3, Carty 2
    Russia (0) 0
    Ireland remain on course for a World Cup quarter-final after easing to an uninspiring 35-0 win over a toothless Russia in Kobe.

    Rob Kearney, Peter O'Mahony and Rhys Ruddock scored first-half tries before Andrew Conway secured the bonus point in the 62nd minute.

    Garry Ringrose's late score put a final exclamation point on an otherwise flat second half performance.


    Another five-point win over Samoa would guarantee a place in the last eight.

    Ireland now have nine days before their final Pool A assignment in Fukuoka against the Samoans.

    Five days on from their already famous defeat by Japan, Ireland knew there was little they could do to change the narrative of their World Cup campaign to date against a side as unfancied as Russia.

    The best they could hope for was to secure all five points in a performance that exposed the chasm of quality between the two sides and showed signs of a team with the skill-set to match any side in the tournament.

    While the victory was never in doubt from the moment Kearney opened the scoring with his fifth try in six World Cup matches inside two minutes, moments of real quality were notable by their absence, particularly in an error-strewn second half.

    Sexton's importance again underlined
    Captaining the side from the start for the first time on his 86th international appearance, Johnny Sexton returned to Ireland's line-up having missed the Japan match through injury.

    HIs half-time withdrawal only served to further underline how vital the 34-year-old remains to this Ireland side.

    With the result of the game beyond doubt, Joe Schmidt wasted no time in ensuring his star man left Kobe unscathed as he handed Jack Carty the reins for the second half.

    After Kearney raced over off the back of a neat set-piece move, O'Mahony added Ireland's second after 12 minutes as he latched onto Sexton's grubber-kick.

    A first half that began in the manner that Ireland would have hoped began to stagnate as Ireland struggled to maintain a fluency against a side who offered so little with the ball.

    As the strong Irish contingent in the crowd began to grow restless, Ruddock bulldozed over the the help of John Ryan to send Schmidt's side into the interval with a spring in their step.

    Although the first half was by no means dazzling, it was certainly a more controlled display than the 40 minutes after the break, in which the break-down in fluency could once again be correlated with Sexton's absence.

    [​IMG]
    Bundee Aki tries to escape the tackle of Kirill Golosnitskiy
    Low key second half not ideal for Ireland
    Russia, without a win in any of their seven World Cup matches, largely banked on Irish errors in order to find field possession with high handing balls sent up to challenge Ireland's back three.

    Their biggest chance of registering on the scoreboard came from Ramil Gaisin's snap drop-goal attempt which dropped well short.

    With little to fear in the opposition, one of Schmidt's chief concerns would have been to get through the game without suffering any serious injuries.

    Jordi Murphy, who only arrived in Japan on Sunday as a replacement for the injured Jack Conan, looked in some discomfort as he was forced off after just 27 minutes.

    As the game wore on, breaks in play became increasingly frequent with both sides succumbing to the high number of handling errors that have so far accompanied all games to be played inside Misaki Stadium's intensely humid conditions.

    Bonus point looked inevitable
    Russia, who had both Bogdan Fedotko and Andrey Ostrikov sin-binned, did not threaten the Irish try-line once as Ireland's bonus-point win looked increasingly inevitable.

    It took Ireland until the halfway stage of the second half to secure that vital fifth point, with Conway sprinting under the posts after Keith Earls had gathered Carty's clever kick over the top.

    Ringrose, who has played every minute of Ireland's World Cup campaign so far, was a deserving final try scorer in his third outing in 11 days.

    Ireland's brief after the Japan result was clear: to secure back-to-back bonus-point wins that will move them into the knock-out stages.

    They are halfway to achieving that aim but questions over their performance levels and ability to trouble teams they will meet should they go deeper into the tournament remain.

    Match stats

    • Rob Kearney crossed for a try after just 90 seconds in this match, Ireland's fastest ever Rugby World Cup try and the fastest of the 2019 Rugby World Cup for any team.
    • Kearney has now scored a try in five of his last six appearances at the Rugby World Cup for Ireland, as well as crossing for a try in both of his games against Russia (2011, 2019).
    • Russia made 182 tackles in this match, the second most by any side in a match at the 2019 Rugby World Cup so far (Wales 183 v Australia) and the most Russia have ever made in a RWC match.
    • This was Ireland's 38th Rugby World Cup game and the first time they have prevented the opposition from scoring; it was the first time Russia have failed to score a point in a RWC match.
    • Russia remain on the hunt for their maiden Rugby World Cup victory (L7); only Namibia (21) have played more Rugby World Cup games and not registered a victory.
    • Sergey Ianiushkin is the third player to make their debut for Russia in a RWC match, Denis Simplikevich and Adam Byrnes in 2011 the other two.
    • Andrey Ostrikov became the fifth substitute at this Rugby World Cup to be shown a yellow card, just six subs in 2015 were shown a yellow.
    • Russia won 57/57 rucks when in possession in the match, the third side to do this in a match at the 2019 Rugby World Cup (NZ v SA, SA v Namibia).
    Ireland: Kearney; Conway, Ringrose, Aki, Earls; Sexton (capt), McGrath; Kilcoyne, Scannell, Ryan, Kleyn, Beirne, Ruddock, O'Mahony, Murphy

    Replacements: Cronin, Porter, Furlong, Henderson, Stander, Carty, Murray, Larmour

    Russia: Artemyev; Davydov, Galinovskiy, Golosnitskiy, Simplikevich; Gaisin, Perov; Polivalov, Matveev, Gotovtsev, Garbuzov, Fedotko; Sychev, Gadzhiev, Gresev.

    Replacements: Selskii, Morozov, Podrezov, Ostrikov, Elgin, Ianiushkin, Khodin, Ostroushkosday.

    Swami
     
  4. Swami

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    South Africa 49-3 Italy: Springboks cruise to Rugby World Cup Pool B win




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    Italy red card 'crass stupidity' - O'Shea
    Springboks come through test of nerve
    Having lost 23-13 to the All Blacks in their opening match of the tournament, South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus admitted the meeting with Italy was "do or die" for his side.

    But the Boks, who were one of the pre-tournament favourites, had any nerves settled by Kolbe's early try when the winger beat two men to touch down in the right-hand corner.

    The contest was expected to be a battle between the forwards but Italy lost both their tight-head props, Simone Ferrari and Marco Riccioni, to injury in the first half, leading to uncontested scrums for the final hour.

    Pollard missed three conversions but he set up Kolbe's second try with a cross-kick and scored 14 points on the night to become the highest points-scorer for the Springboks at the Rugby World Cup, surpassing Percy Montgomery's previous record.

    South Africa pushed home their advantage after Lovotti was sent off but will have concerns over the fitness of Kolbe, who picked up an ankle injury in a tackle in the closing stages.

    The Springboks will have bigger challenges to come but have kept themselves in the hunt in a bid to add to their triumphs in 1995 and 2007.

    [​IMG]
    Italy's hopes of a comeback were ended when Andrea Lovotti (left) was shown red early in the second half
    Ill discipline costs Azzurri
    Italy had picked up maximum points from their first two pool games against Namibia and Canada, and knew that victory would eliminate the Springboks from the competition.

    The Azzurri were unable to capitalise when they did venture into South African territory in the first half, with quick defensive line speed and powerful tackling forcing Conor O'Shea's side back.

    The Six Nations outfit had only won one of their previous 14 matches against South Africa, and any chance of a comeback was extinguished when loose-head prop Lovotti was shown the red card three minutes into the second half.

    Italy had been awarded a penalty in the South Africa 22 but after the whistle was blown Lovotti and fellow prop Nicola Quaglio picked up Vermeulen and dropped him - with Quaglio lucky not to also be dismissed for his part in the incident.

    The game then slipped away from the Italians as veteran number eight Sergio Parisse - who won his 142nd cap, making him the second most-capped player in Test history - was unable to inspire his side.

    Italy have participated in every World Cup but have never qualified for the quarter-finals and their wait for a last-eight berth is likely to go on unless they can pull off a first-ever win over New Zealand in Toyota a week on Saturday.

    [​IMG]
    Teams
    South Africa: Le Roux; Kolbe, Am, De Allende, Mapimpi; Pollard, De Klerk; Mtawarira, Mbonambi, Malherbe, Etzebeth, De Jager, Kolisi (capt), Du Toit, Vermeulen.

    Replacements: Marx, Kitshoff, Koch, Snyman, Mostert, Louw, H Jantjies, Steyn.

    Italy: Minozzi; Benvenuti, Morisi, Hayward, Campagnaro; Allan, Tebaldi; Lovotti, Bigi, Ferrari, Sisi, Budd, Steyn, Polledri, Parisse (capt).

    Replacements: Zani, Quaglio, Riccioni, Zanni, Ruzza, Negri, Braley, Canna.

    Red card: Lovotti (43).

    Referee: Wayne Barnes (Eng).

    Swami
     
  5. Swami

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    Australia 45-10 Uruguay: Wallabies move top of Pool D with bonus-point win






    [​IMG]
    Jordan Petaia scored a try on his debut for Australia
    2019 Rugby World Cup Pool D: Australia v Uruguay
    Australia (19) 45
    Tries:
    Haylett-Petty 2, Petaia, Kuridrani 2, Genia, Slipper Cons: Lealiifano 5
    Uruguay (3) 10
    Try:
    Diana Con: Berchesi Pen: Berchesi
    Australia recovered from defeat by Wales to beat Uruguay 45-10 on Saturday and move top of World Cup Pool D.

    The Wallabies lost an enthralling clash 29-25 to Warren Gatland's side in Tokyo last week, having also suffered a scare in their opening win over Fiji.

    First-half sin-bins for Adam Coleman and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto contributed to another sloppy start before Australia hit their straps in Oita.


    Teenage wing Jordan Petaia was among the scorers with a try on his debut.

    Dane Haylett-Petty and Tevita Kuridrani also crossed in the first half and Kuridrani added his second after the break to make sure Australia earned a bonus point.

    Will Genia and James Slipper - who scored his first international try in his 94th Test for Australia - also touched down and Haylett-Petty crossed for his second of the match, before Manuel Diana scored a consolation try for Uruguay.

    "I thought we were just a little bit off the pace at the start and that's three times now," said Australia coach Michael Cheika.

    "I'll have to get my pre-match speech a little bit better. We were reading the first half nicely but it looked like we were just a click away. And then we got the pace up in the second half."

    Australia run in seven tries
    Australia have not suffered successive defeats at a World Cup since losing to France and Wales in 1987 and you could have got odds of 200-1 for Uruguay to pull off a shock in Oita.

    But it was a stuttering start from Cheika's side, who trailed at half-time in both their opening two pool matches at this tournament and played 20 of the opening 40 minutes against Uruguay with 14 men after sin-bins for Coleman and Salakaia-Loto.

    Uruguay won turnover ball off the first Australia attack but a poor line-out handed the Wallabies good field position and the ball was swiftly moved through hands for Haylett-Petty to walk in the opening try on the right after six minutes.

    Felipe Berchesi kicked a penalty to close the gap but, after Coleman was yellow-carded for a high tackle, 19-year-old Petaia came off his wing to power over for a debut Test try and then showed sharp hands to tee up Kuridrani for Australia's third.

    Tomas Inciarte did cross in the corner for Uruguay, only for the Television Match Official to spot an earlier offside infringement.

    From there it was one-way traffic. Kuridrani hit a clever line to accelerate away for his second before experienced scrum-half Will Genia came off the bench to collect Jack Dempsey's offload for his 19th international try.

    Prop Slipper was warmly congratulated by the entire Australia side after he powered over from close range and Haylett-Petty dived in for his second of the match.

    Uruguay were rewarded for a spirited display as they went through the phases and number eight Diana forced his way over two minutes from time.

    Much to ponder for Cheika
    Australia coach Cheika claimed last week that authorities are "spooking" referees and that he was "embarrassed" by some decisions in his side's defeat by Wales.

    Wallabies winger Reece Hodge is already serving a three-match ban after being cited for a high tackle in their opening 39-21 win over Fiji, and ill-discipline was a feature again against Uruguay.

    Second row Coleman had only been back on the pitch for three minutes before number eight Salakaia-Loto was himself sent to the sin-bin as Australia clocked up 12 penalties.

    "We're just giving away too many penalties, full stop, no matter what it's for," said Cheika."You can't be winning the game by 45 and still losing the penalty count."

    The Wallabies top the pool having played a game more than Wales, who still have to face Fiji and Uruguay, but such penalty counts and numerical disadvantages could cost them against better sides in the knockout stages.

    A potential quarter-final against England awaits the two-time champions, should Australia finish a likely second in their group and Eddie Jones' side top Pool C.

    Australia complete their pool-stage fixtures against Georgia on Friday.

    Uruguay, who shocked Fiji in their opening game of the tournament, complete their campaign against Wales next Sunday.

    [​IMG]
    Teams
    Australia: Beale; Haylett-Petty, Kuridrani, To'omua, Petaia; Lealiifano, White; Slipper, Fainga'a, Alaalatoa, Simmons, Coleman, Salakaia-Loto, Hooper, Dempsey.

    Replacements: Uelese, Kepu, Tupou, Arnold, Pocock, Genia, Kerevi, Ashley-Cooper.

    Uruguay: Silva, Favaro, Inciarte, Vilaseca, Freitas, Berchesi, A Ormaechea; Echeverria, Kessler, Arbelo, Lamanna, Leindekar, Ardao, JD Ormaechea, Diana.

    Replacements: Pujadas, Jaunsolo, Rombys, Dotti, Gaminara, Arata, Etcheverry, Della Corte.

    Swami
     
  6. Swami

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    England 39-10 Argentina: Eddie Jones' side qualify for World Cup quarter-finals
    [​IMG]
    By Tom Fordyce


    2019 World Cup: England v Argentina
    England:
    (15) 39
    Tries: May, Daly, Youngs, Ford, Nowell, Cowan-Dickie Pens: Farrell Cons: Farrell 3
    Argentina: (3) 10
    Tries: Moroni Pens: Urdapilleta Cons: Boffelli
    Red card: Lavanini
    England ran in six tries against the 14 men of Argentina to make it three bonus-point wins from three and guarantee themselves a place in the World Cup quarter-finals.

    With Tomas Lavanini sent off early for an illegal tackle on England captain Owen Farrell, Eddie Jones' side cut loose and first-half tries from Jonny May, Elliot Daly and Ben Youngs established a 12-point lead.

    George Ford, Luke Cowan-Dickie and the returning Jack Nowell added further tries during a more subdued second half in sweltering conditions in the Japanese capital Tokyo.


    The defeat puts the Pumas - semi-finalists in two of the past three World Cups - out of the tournament at the group stage for the first time in 16 years.

    But England rumble on, building on the displays against Tonga and the USA, and know victory against France in a week's time will set up a likely quarter-final against Australia.

    They were far from flawless once again, yet are exactly where head coach Jones would want them to be three weeks into a campaign that will surely become far more challenging in the coming matches.

    Red mist costs Argentina as England cash in
    England had not been behind in this tournament but after Matias Moroni ran on to Urdapilleta's cross-kick and kicked on again, only May's pace got him to the loose ball first to save the try.

    From the subsequent five-metre scrum England were penalised and Urdapilleta landed the three points - yet England struck back moments later.

    After an initial counter-attack down the right through Daly and Anthony Watson, they drove off a line-out to within a few metres, and with the Pumas defence committed fly-half Ford went left to May for the winger to accelerate into the corner.

    It was a frenetic start, and the decisive incident stemmed from all that passion and energy spilling over.

    As Youngs tapped a quick penalty and fed Farrell, Lavanini thumped into him at pace, his left shoulder crashing on to the head of the inside-centre.

    Argentina had promised a war, but this was a clear illegal assault under the game's revised tackling protocols and referee Nigel Owens had no option but to reach for the red card.

    Farrell hooked the subsequent long-range penalty, but England began to look for width to work and tire the 14 men.

    Daly broke down the left to send May deep into the opposition 22, Tuilagi charged on after the ball was worked right and after a series of forward drives to within half a metre Ford sent it out wide left to Daly again, who juggled the ball and then stepped and accelerated past Emiliano Boffelli and over the line.

    And with the half-time gong having sounded England showed an impressive ruthlessness once more, Youngs diving over from three metres after his team went through 20 phases.

    Only the inaccuracy of Farrell's place kicking kept Argentina anywhere close, all three conversions missed in addition to that penalty to keep England's lead down to 15-3.

    More to follow.

    [​IMG]
    Ben Youngs scored England's third try just before half-time
    Teams
    England: Daly; Watson, Tuilagi, Farrell, May; Ford, B Youngs; Marler, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Kruis, Curry, Underhill, B Vunipola.

    Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, M Vunipola, Cole, Lawes, Ludlam, Heinz, Slade, Nowell.

    Argentina: Boffelli; Moroni, Orlando, De La Fuente, Carreras; Urdapilleta, Cubelli; Chaparro, Montoya, Figallo, Pagadizabal, Lavanini, Matera, Kremer, Desio.

    Replacements: Creevy, Vivas, Medrano, Alemanno, Lezana, Ezcurra, Mensa, Delguy.

    Swami
     
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    Japan 38-19 Samoa: Hosts close to qualification for World Cup quarter-finals






    [​IMG]
    Samoan-born centre Timothy Lafaele scored the opening try for Japan
    2019 Rugby World Cup: Japan v Samoa
    Japan:
    (16) 38
    Tries:
    Lafaele, Himeno, Fukuoka, Matsushima Pens: Tamura 4 Cons: Tamura 3
    Samoa: (9) 19
    Tries
    Taefu Pens: Taefu 4 Cons: Taefu
    Hosts Japan moved closer to a first World Cup quarter-final with a dramatic bonus-point victory over Samoa.

    The sides exchanged three penalties in a nervy start before Samoan-born centre Timothy Lafaele scored the opening try.

    Kazuki Himeno, Kenki Fukuoka scored after the interval before Kotaro Matsushima sealed the late bonus point, while Henry Taefu scored a consolation.


    Japan top Pool A and will qualify if Scotland fail to beat them and Russia in their final two matches.

    The unbeaten Brave Blossoms face Scotland in the final pool game on Sunday, 13 October (11:45 BST) while Samoa, who are out of the tournament, will end their campaign against Ireland on 12 October (11:45).

    Japan are nearly there
    Victory all but sealed qualification for the last eight but Japan will be taking nothing for granted because they have been here before.

    Three victories in the pool stages four years ago were not enough to progress for Jamie Joseph's side, who were then under England coach Eddie Jones' leadership.

    And there were signs of those nerves early on as Japan struggled to take a real grasp of the game, although Yu Tamura showed composure from the tee.

    The breakthrough moment came when talismanic leader Michael Leitch turned over the ball to release the dangerous Matsushima.

    The ball was recycled and Lafaele crossed the line to send the City of Toyota Stadium into raptures.

    Taefu was equally competent with his goal-kicking and he pegged the hosts back after the interval before Himeno added the second try with a well-worked move from the line-out.

    Samoa, who were chasing a losing bonus-point to keep their slim hopes alive, hit back through Taefu but Japan regained the initiative when they moved the ball wide for replacement Fukuoka to score in the corner.

    And with the clock in the red, the bonus point was sealed with the last act from open play as Matsushima scored his fourth try of the tournament.

    A win against Scotland in the final pool match will be enough to take Japan through with the Scots having to first beat Russia on Wednesday.

    Teams
    Japan: Nakayama; Matsushima, Lafaele, Nakamura, Lemeki; Tamura, Nagare; Inagaki, Sakate, Ji-won, Van der Walt, Moore, Leitch, Labuschagne, Himeno

    Replacements: Horie, Nakajima, Ai Valu, Helu, Tui, Tanaka, Matsuda, Fukuoka

    Samoa: Nanai-Williams; Tuala, Leiua, Taefu, Fidow; Seuteni, Polataivao; Lay, S Lam, Alaalatoa, Faasalel, Le'aupepe, Vui, Ioane, J Lam

    Replacements: Niuia, Alo-Emile, Lay, Toleafoa, Tyrell, Cowley, Pisi, Fonotia

    Swami
     
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    New Zealand 71-9 Namibia: All Blacks win to go top of Rugby World Cup Pool B
    By Mike Henson

    [​IMG]
    Shannon Frizzell makes yards for the world champions
    2019 Rugby World Cup Pool B
    New Zealand: (24) 71
    Tries:
    Reece (2), Lienert-Brown (2), Ta'avao, B Smith (2), Moody, Whitelock, J Barrett, Perenara Cons: Barrett (8)
    Namibia: (9) 9
    Pens:
    Stevens (3)
    World champions New Zealand stretched out to a comprehensive 62-point winning margin over lowly Namibia, but only after the underdogs had held them up with a brave first-half display.

    With 35 minutes gone, Namibia, ranked 23rd in the world, were within one point of the three-time winners.

    But the All Blacks were in clinical mood in the second half, finishing with 11 tries.


    New Zealand will top Pool B if they beat Italy next weekend.

    That would set up a quarter-final against the runners-up of Pool A, which is boiling down to a three-way fight between Japan, Ireland and Scotland.

    Namibia defy rankings and expectations
    Pre-match expectations of a New Zealand rout were initially confounded as Namibia, the lowest-ranked side in the tournament, showed no sign of being awed by the prospect of taking on the world number one side.

    To the delight of Welsh coach Phil Davies, the underdogs scored the first points of the match when impressive scrum-half Damian Stevens landed a penalty from out wide.

    As well as a fast defensive line and a determination to get involved in the breakdown, Namibia showed some slick hands and incisive lines to make regular incursions into the All Blacks defence.

    Hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld led the way for Namibia as they stayed close, before replacement prop Angus Ta'avao and full-back Ben Smith went over just before the break to give New Zealand a more comfortable 15-point cushion at the break.

    All Blacks revitalised after second half
    New Zealand coach Steve Hansen, who gave Brodie Retallick his planned 30-minute outing on his first appearance since suffering a shoulder injury in July, seemed to fire up his side for the second half.

    Prop Joe Moody went over within two minutes of the restart, the first of seven second-half tries as New Zealand pared their game down to basics to grind down Namibia.

    TJ Perenara saved the best score for last as he and fellow replacement Brad Weber exchanged extravagant offloads - Weber's being a behind-the-back pass - before diving into the corner to dot down. A packed Tokyo Stadium stood to pay tribute to both sides on the final whistle after an entertaining encounter.

    [​IMG]
    New Zealand and Namibia bow together at the end of the match
    'We had poor attitude' - what they said
    New Zealand coach Steve Hansen: "The first half was pretty disappointing. We didn't turn up with the right attitude and Namibia made us pay for that. It's a good lesson, isn't it?

    "Second half, there was pretty good stuff in it. I was really pleased with Jordie Barrett at 10, [he] played very, very well.

    "To be the third-choice first-five [fly-half], and our two superstar first-fives not playing, he got us round the back well. We ended up scoring tries so there's a lot to like about it.

    "It didn't happen in the first half because we had a poor attitude. They had more intent than us and played better than us in the first half."

    Namibia coach Phil Davies: "We were just pleased that what we talked about before the game we were actually doing on the field against the best team in the world. So we're really pleased.

    "The scoreboard's not very pretty at the end but the effort and the commitment ... so proud of the players with how we tried to play and certain things that we actually did, which is pleasing."

    New Zealand: Smith, Reece, Goodhue, Lienert-Brown, Bridge; J Barrett, Smith; Moody, Taylor, Laulala, Retallick, Whitelock, Frizell, Cane, Savea.

    Replacements: Coles, Tuungafasi, Ta'avao, Tuipulotu, Todd, Weber, Perenara, Ioane.

    Namibia: Tromp, Klim, Newman, Deysel, Greyling; Kisting, Stevens; Rademeyer, Van Jaarsveld, De Klerk, Van Lill, Uanivi, Gaoseb, Forbes, Venter.

    Replacements: Nortje, Theron, Coetzee, Retief, Booysen, Jantjies, De La Harpe, Du Toit

    Swami
     
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    France beat Tonga to set up England Rugby World Cup showdown






    [​IMG]
    France's players celebrated with the fans at the final whistle
    2019 Rugby World Cup Pool B
    France (17) 23
    Tries:
    Vakatawa, Raka Cons: Ntamack (2) Pens: Ntamack (3)
    Tonga: (7) 21
    Tries
    : Takulua, Hingano, Kapeli Cons: Takulua (2), Fosita
    France will play England to decide who tops Pool C on Saturday after they finally subdued a battling Tonga.

    France put in a characteristically fitful display - racing into a 17-point lead before being reeled in, then rallying before a late Tonga try set up a frantic finale.

    However, Damian Penaud reclaimed Camille Lopez's restart to end the underdogs' hopes of snatching a win.


    Pool C's winners will face the runners-up in Pool D in the last eight.

    Australia look the most likely to finish second in Pool D, while Wales will top that group if they can negotiate matches against Uruguay and Fiji.

    France head coach Jacques Brunel said his side would "need to go back to basics" before facing England to determine who will top the pool.

    "We wanted a bigger scoreline but because of handling errors we were not able to achieve that," he said.

    Those comments were echoed by stand-in captain Jefferson Poirot, who said his side "have a lot of work to do".

    "England are tough and we know how difficult it will be," he said.

    France make it three from three
    France, with a third different half-back combination in as many matches, started the game at a canter as powerful centre Virimi Vakatawa went over from Alivereti Raka's one-handed pass.

    When scrum-half Baptiste Serin spotted a unmarked Raka and the chance to tap and go for a second score, Jacques Brunel's side were 17-0 up after 35 minutes.

    But, just as in their opening match against Argentina - when they allowed the Pumas back in the match from 20-3 down - France's concentration wavered.

    Newcastle's Sonatane Takulua dived over from close range just before the break as Tonga's forwards wrestled their way into the ascendancy.

    France full-back Maxime Medard paid the price for allowing the ball to bounce early in the second half as Malietoa Hingano pounced to power over.

    With their advantage shaved down to three points, the sense that a repeat of Tonga's upset victory in the 2011 pool stages may be brewing stung France back into life.

    [​IMG]
    Kapeli's scores set up a grandstand finish
    They tightened up their play and fly-half Romain Ntamack landed two penalty goals to put his side 23-14 in front.

    Penaud dived over to seemingly put the game beyond doubt, but that was to be more drama as referee Nic Berry - belatedly, but correctly - ruled out that score for a knock-on by Medard, and then Tonga flanker Zane Kapeli claimed a cross-field kick and dotted down.

    Replacement Latiume Fosita slotted the conversion putting Tonga within two points as they prepared to receive kick-off with less than a minute to go.

    But Penaud tapped the kick-off back to a team-mate and France booted into touch to end the game.

    A threat to England?
    Despite only scraping past an opponent his own side saw off 35-3 in the tournament opener, England head coach Eddie Jones will have seen how France can threaten his team.

    Raka and Penaud both showed their quality as strike runners capable of undoing a defence with moments of individual brilliance, while scrum-half Antoine Dupont was lively around the edge of the breakdown after he came on with 25 minutes to go.

    The prospect of playing their Six Nations rivals might also bring the consistency, concentration and 80-minute performances France have not yet put in at the tournament.

    However, with Pool C's runners-up set on a path that would see them avoid tournament favourites New Zealand until a potential final, they may also feel the meeting with England is one they can afford to lose.

    Match stats
    • This was the sixth meeting between France and Tonga in Test rugby, but the first time either side had recorded consecutive victories, with France winning their meeting in 2013 before victory in this match.
    • France have now reached the quarter-finals of this year's World Cup. They are one of four teams - and the only northern hemisphere side - to have never failed to progress from the group stage of the tournament.
    • This was France's 23rd match against non-tier one opposition at the World Cup - they have won 22 of those, with Tonga inflicting their only defeat (in 2011). Sunday's scoreline was their narrowest winning margin.
    • Alivereti Raka gained 142 metres against Tonga, the most by a France player in a World Cup match since Clement Poitrenaud gained 155 metres against the USA in 2003.
    [​IMG]
    'A really, tough tough game' - what they said
    France coach Jacques Brunel: "Today it was different to what we wanted to do -- it was quite a hard game,

    "The most important thing is that we got our ticket to the quarter-finals, so I'm happy about that."

    On positives France can take from the match: "Our engagement and the intensity we put on the Tongans, and we'll get back to work next week to face England."

    Tonga coach Toutai Kefu: "Definitely frustrated, again we didn't get off to the best of starts and that probably told in the end.

    "The guys dug in there, there was a period in the second half when the game was in the balance and the guys hung in and hung in. You can't question their effort."

    Teams
    France: Medard; Penaud, Vakatawa, Guitoune, Raka; Ntamack, Serin; Poirot, Chat, Slimani, Gabrillagues, Vahaamahina, Lauret, Ollivon, Alldritt.

    Replacements: Guirado, Baille, Setiano, Le Roux, Camara, Dupont, Lopez, Barassi.

    Tonga: Veainu, Vuna, Hingano, Piutau, Halaifonua; Faiva, Takulua; Fisi'ihoi, Ngauamo, Fia; Lousi, Fifita, Kalamafoni, Kapeli, Vaipulu.

    Replacements: Sakalia, Fifita, Halanukonuka, Mafi, Manu, Fukofuka, Fosita, Pakalani.

    Swami
     
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    South Africa 66-7 Canada: Springboks seal Rugby World Cup quarter-final place






    [​IMG]
    Cobus Reinach took just 11 minutes to complete a hat-trick of tries
    Rugby World Cup Pool B
    South Africa:
    (47) 66
    Tries: Reinach 3, De Allende, Nkosi, Gelant, Steyn, Brits, Willemse, Malherbe Cons: Jantjies 8
    Canada: (0) 7
    Try: Heaton Con: Nelson
    Red card: Larsen
    South Africa produced a dazzling first-half display as they confirmed their place in the World Cup quarter-finals with a big win over 14-man Canada.

    The Springboks ran in seven tries in the first half, with scrum-half Cobus Reinach notching the earliest hat-trick in a World Cup game after 20 minutes.

    Canada had Josh Larsen sent off for a charging into a ruck before half-time.


    The minnows scored first in the second half through Matt Heaton but South Africa ran in three more tries.

    Schalk Brits, Damian Willemse and Frans Malherbe all went over following tries from Reinach, Damian de Allende, S'busiso Nkosi, Warrick Gelant and Frans Steyn in the opening 40 minutes.

    Rassie Erasmus's side go top of Pool B but defending champions New Zealand - who beat the Springboks earlier in the tournament - are expected to defeat Italy on Saturday to win the group.

    Canada, ranked 22nd in the world, will seek to end their World Cup with victory over Namibia on Sunday.

    Reinach hat-trick as Springboks blitz Canada
    South Africa, fielding 13 changes from the side that beat Italy on Friday, got off to the perfect start with tries in the first six minutes from centre De Allende and wing Nkosi.

    But it was Reinach who made the biggest impression with his 11-minute hat-trick completed by the 20th minute of the game.

    The previous record for the earliest World Cup hat-trick held by Australia's Chris Latham, who managed the feat after 25 minutes against Namibia in 2003.

    Reinach's first try was arguably the best of the match. The Northampton Saints scrum-half sliced through the defence, chipped the full-back and caught the ball on the bounce before accelerating away to score.

    He secured his team's bonus point after just 17 minutes, diving over the line after his forwards had smashed their way through.

    Reinach's third arrived three minutes later, the scrum-half running through after the Springboks once again cut the Canadian defence wide open.

    Warrick Gelant scored in the corner as the one-way traffic continued and things got worse for Canada when replacement forward Larsen was sent off for flying into a ruck leading with his shoulder, hitting Thomas du Toit neck high and leaving referee Luke Pearce with no option but to produce the red card.

    Phil Mack's sloppy pass was then intercepted by Steyn, who touched down for the seventh first-half try.

    Elton Jantjies kicked his sixth conversion to make it 47 unanswered points in a thoroughly miserable 40 minutes for Canada.

    Consolation try for Canada
    Matt Heaton bundled over the line for Canada at the start of the second half after Jeff Hassler found a rare gap in the Springbok defence as the 14 men rallied against the odds.

    But the Springboks eventually broke through again when former Saracens forward Brits, back at hooker after playing a game at number eight in Japan, side-stepped his way to his side's eighth try before limping off.

    Willemse, who has been on a short-term deal at Saracens and only arrived in Japan five days ago as a replacement for Jesse Kriel, went over unopposed for his first international try and the final score came from replacement Malherbe after intense pressure wore down Canada's exhausted defence one last time.

    [​IMG]
    What they said
    South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus: "We had a short turnaround and it was scrappy at stages but I can't moan about the tempo. The red card made it a little bit easier.

    "In this humidity sometimes you can over-exaggerate, but we kept it fairly simple which was a good thing."

    On reaching the quarter-finals: "The big thing is we have to see who we are going to play - we'll give the guys two days off and on Friday get back on the horse again.

    "We have a good chance like everyone else but there are so many good teams in this tournament. Japan are a class act, Ireland and Scotland class acts - there's some tough opposition in the next few weeks."

    Stats
    • Reinach rounded off his hat-trick 10 minutes and 25 seconds after scoring his first try of the match, only Australia's Adam Ashley-Cooper has taken less time between the first and third tries of a hat-trick at the Rugby World Cup (9m 16s v USA in 2011).
    • Larsen's sending off was Canada's fourth red card in Rugby World Cup history, more than any other side.
    • South Africa's 59-point win was their fourth biggest ever at the Rugby World Cup while their points tally of 66 was their third highest in a game at the tournament and highest since scoring 87 against Namibia in 2011.
    • South Africa have won 47 out of 47 line-outs so far at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, including all eight against Canada, the only side yet to misplace a line-out throw at this edition of the tournament.
    • South Africa's Brits crossed for a try against Canada aged 38 years and 145 days to become the second oldest player to score a try at the Rugby World Cup after Diego Ormaechea (40y 13d)
    LINE-UPS
    South Africa: Willemse; Gelant, De Allende, Steyn, Nkosi; Jantjies, Reinach; T Du Toit, Brits, Koch, Snyman, Mostert, Kolisi (capt), Smith, Louw.

    Replacements: Marx, Kitshoff, Malherbe, Ebtzebeth, P Du Toit, Jantjies, Pollard, Le Roux.

    Canada: Coe; Hassler, Trainor, Hearn, Van der Merwe; Nelson, Mack; Buydens, Quattrin, Ilnicki, Olmstead, Baillie, Rumball, Heaton, Ardron (capt).

    Replacements: Piffero, Sears-Duru, Tierney, Larsen, Sheppard, Mackenzie, O'Leary, Du Toit

    Swami
     
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    Argentina 47-17 USA: Pumas confirm 2023 Rugby World Cup spot






    [​IMG]
    Joaquin Tuculet scored two first-half tries for Argentina
    Rugby World Cup Pool C
    Argentina
    (19) 47
    Tries: Sanchez, Tuculet 2, Mallia 2, De la Fuente, Bertranou Cons: Sanchez 5, Urdapilleta
    USA (5) 17
    Tries: Scully 2 Lasike Con: MacGinty
    Argentina finished their World Cup with a bonus-point win over the USA as they came third in Pool C and confirmed a spot at the 2023 tournament.

    The Pumas, who have failed to reach the knockout stages for the first time since 2003 after defeats by France and England, crossed for seven tries.

    Joaquin Tuculet scored a first-half double after Nicolas Sanchez's opener.


    The USA responded before the break when Blaine Scully touched down from fly-half AJ MacGinty's clever grubber.

    But centre Juan Cruz Mallia crossed twice to reassert Argentina's dominance in the second half, with further scores from Jeronimo De La Fuente and Gonzalo Bertranou.

    Paul Lasike responded with a try and Scully added a late third for the USA, who finish their campaign against winless Tonga on Sunday.

    A third-place finish in the pool stages in Japan guarantees teams a place at the World Cup in France in four years' time.

    Argentina: Joaquin Tuculet, Bautista Delguy, Juan Cruz Mallia, Jeronimo De La Fuente, Santiago Carreras; Nicolas Sanchez, Felipe Ezcurra; Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Julian Montoya, Santiago Medrano, Guido Petti Pagadizaval, Matias Alemanno, Pablo Matera, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Rodrigo Bruni.

    Replacements: Agustin Creevy, Mayco Vivas, Enrique Pieretto Heiland, Marcos Kremer, Tomas Lezana, Gonzalo Bertranou, Benjamin Urdapilleta, Matias Moroni.

    USA: Mike Te'o, Blaine Scully, Bryce Campbell, Paul Lasike, Marcel Brache; AJ MacGinty, Ruben De Haas; 1-Eric Fry, Joe Taufete'e, Titi Lamositele, Nate Brakeley, Greg Peterson, Tony Lamborn, Hanco Germishuys, Cam Dolan.

    Replacements: Dylan Fawsitt, Olive Kilifi, Paul Mullen, Ben Landry, Ben Pinkelman, Nate Augspurger, Will Hooley, Martin Iosefo.

    Swami
     
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    Scotland 61-0 Russia: Scots set up Rugby World Cup showdown with Japan
    [​IMG]
    By Tom English

    [​IMG]
    Hastings scored two early tries in a one-sided victory for Scotland
    Rugby World Cup Pool A
    Scotland
    (21) 61
    Tries: Hastings 2, G Horne 3, Turner, Seymour, Barclay, McInally Cons: Hastings 8
    Russia (0) 0
    Scotland set up a World Cup showdown with Japan with a comfortable bonus-point win over Russia in Shizuoka.

    Adam Hastings got a second string side rolling with two early tries and George Horne was gifted an intercept score.

    Horne completed a hat-trick after the interval, while George Turner, Tommy Seymour, John Barclay and Stuart McInally also got in on the act.


    Now the Scots must take four more points from Sunday's Pool A finale than the hosts to reach the quarter finals.

    Russia end their World Cup adventure with four defeats and a tired-looking team seldom troubled a Scottish defence that kept the opposition scoreless for the second win in a row.

    Scotland had steeled themselves for a brutal battle, a pursuit of five points that they expected would be long and hard, as it had been for Japan and Ireland when they played the Bears. It was nothing of the sort. This was a clinical hit on a proud but out-classed and over-powered team.

    As a preparation for the big one against Japan - Typhoon Hagibis permitting - it was just about perfect. As they did against Samoa in their last game, Scotland married power and creativity. As a team, they can put pressure on themselves by trying to play too much rugby too soon in games but they had control from the get-go here, albeit against opponents who had to be scraped off the floor at the end such was their exhaustion.

    George Horne will be love-bombed in its wake - and no wonder. The scrum-half was a riot of movement and tries. His scoring record for club and country is astonishing, his tries to minutes played stats up there with the very best. His hat-trick was quite something, but Horne was surrounded by players who hit their stride.

    They were sent on their way by Hastings, who played wonderfully not just in getting two tries - he was one narrow forward pass away from getting three - but also with his game management and deadeye goal-kicking.

    A simple move off the back of a scrum and the fly-half went through a gap to score. Hastings got a second five minutes later after Pete Horne's tackle on German Davydov forced a turnover which Hastings made the most of. He chipped ahead, brushed off big Tagir Gadzhiev and then got monstrously lucky when the covering Vasily Artemyev misjudged the bounce of the ball in his in-goal area.

    Hastings had the simplest job in touching down. With a 14-0 lead inside 18 minutes this was an explosive beginning. No panic, no hint of a difficult night.

    A third went in just after the 20-minute mark and it was the first of Horne's three. A cheeky one, too. Hastings put Scotland deep inside Russia's 22. The underdogs had a line-out but made a hash of their exit, Dimitry Perov, the scrum-half, having his pass plucked out of the air by his opposite number.

    [​IMG]
    George Horne scored three tries and was denied a fourth after a forward pass
    A third conversion went over and it was 21-0. Russia were fortunate not to ship a fourth just before the break, but no matter. It came just after instead. Horne got it, but it was really all about Darcy Graham, that whirling dervish of a winger. Russia kicked loosely to Graham - a very bad idea - and the wing scampered downfield, evading one opponent and then another. It was a brilliant break from Graham who could have finished it off himself but kindly presented it to Horne. Hastings banged over a fourth conversion and Scotland had what they came here for.

    They got a whole lot more before the end. Turner broke free from a line-out maul and ran in a fifth, Seymour finished excellently from Blair Kinghorn's chip through and Horne got his hat-trick before an hour had been played. His big brother had a hand in it. Henry Pyrgos, too.

    Pyrgos had come on for Graham early in the second half, the wing being given a rest before the Japan game. Two more tries came and it could have been four. Horne looked to have got his own fourth but referee Wayne Barnes ruled it out for a forward pass from Magnus Bradbury.

    Scotland struck again, though, when Barclay ran free and strolled around a static Davydov. McInally got the ninth two minutes from time after terrific work from Kinghorn. There would have been a tenth - and a third for Hastings - but the officials saw another forward pass and the man-of-the-match was denied his moment.

    Not that he would been all that bothered. This was as resounding as Scotland had hoped for in their dreams. All eyes now turn to the potential epic against Japan at the weekend. Scotland will go into it in good heart.

    What do Scotland need to reach the last eight?
    • Beat Japan by eight points or more and deny the host nation a losing bonus point
    • Beat Japan with a four-try bonus point - as long as Japan don't score four tries and lose by seven points or fewer
    • Beat Japan and hope Ireland fail to beat Samoa on Saturday
    • If the top three all finish on 15 points, points difference will settle it
    [​IMG]
    Scotland: Kinghorn; Seymour, Taylor, P Horne, Graham; Hastings, G Horne; Reid, Turner, Fagerson; Cummings, Toolis; Barclay, Brown, Wilson.

    Replacements: McInally, Berghan, Nel, Gilchrist, Bradbury, Ritchie, Pyrgos, Harris.

    Russia: Artemyev, Davydov, Ostroushko, Gerasimov, Sozonov, Gaisin, Perov, Morozov, Selskii, Gotovtsev, Ostrikov, Elgin, Zhivatov, Gadzhiev, Vavilin.

    Replacements: Chernyshev, Bitiev, Podrezov, Fedotko, Garbuzov, Yanyushkin, Sychev, Kushnarev.

    Swami
     
  13. Swami

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    Wales 29-17 Fiji: Josh Adams hat-trick helps clinch quarter final spot
    By Gareth Griffiths

    BBC Sport Wales in Oita, Japan

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    [​IMG]
    Josh Adams' third try put Wales ahead in the final quarter
    Fiji (10) 17
    Tries:
    Tuisova, Murimurivalu, penalty try
    Wales (14) 29
    Tries:
    Adams (3), L Williams Cons: Biggar (2), Patchell Pen: Patchell
    Wing Josh Adams scored a hat-trick to guide Wales to the World Cup quarter-finals with a pulsating 29-17 victory over Fiji in Oita.

    Wales came from 10-0 down and overcame an early Fiji onslaught in a bruising battle in Oita.

    Full-back Liam Williams also crossed late to secure a bonus point.


    The victory came at a cost with injury concerns for the rest of the tournament over fly-half Dan Biggar and centre Jonathan Davies.

    Cardiff Blues wing Adams limped off in the final minutes, injured in scoring his third try.

    Both sides had two players yellow-carded in a frenetic encounter in which flamboyant Fiji excelled in broken play.

    There were also 31 missed tackles by Wales and five disallowed tries between both sides to demonstrate the captivating contest witnessed in Japan.

    It was a third victory after previous wins over Georgia and Australia. Wales now top Pool D and are in line to win the group by defeating Uruguay in four days' time.

    Wales will be without Biggar for that final pool match after he suffered a second head injury in successive games and will be a doubt for a quarter-final, probably in 11 days in Oita.

    Davies will also be a doubt for the knockout stages after picking up a knee injury.

    [​IMG]
    Dan Biggar suffered a blow to the head for the second time in two games
    Assuming Wales clinch Pool D with victory over Uruguay, Warren Gatland's side will play the Pool C runners up.

    That will be either England or France with the two sides scheduled to meet in a group decider on Saturday.

    Spare a thought for the Fijians who experienced a mixed tournament with defeats against Australia and Uruguay and an impressive 45-10 victory over Georgia.

    At times, they were breathtakingly brilliant in attack and brutal in defence, while Wales demonstrated courage and class to seal the victory and cement their place in the knockout stages.

    Waiting game

    Flanker James Davies and Moriarty were the two changes in the Welsh back-row, coming in for Justin Tipuric and Aaron Wainwright.

    Davies joined older brother Jonathan Davies in the same Wales starting side for a second time. They became the third pair of Welsh brothers to play in a World Cup game following Paul and Richard Moriarty in 1987 and Scott and Craig Quinnell in 1999.

    But the family telepathic connection failed to work when James gave away a penalty chasing a kick from his older brother to hand a five-metre attacking scrum.

    [​IMG]
    Wing Josua Tuisova scored an incredible try as he powered through Adams and held off the challenge of Biggar and Josh Navidi.

    In a breathless start Wales and Fiji had tries ruled out for infringements before Wales hooker Ken Owens was yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle.

    Fiji immediately made the extra man tell with full-back Kini Murimurivalu powering over although Ben Volavola missed another conversion.

    Fiji were reduced to 14 men when lock Tevita Cavubati was guilty of a reckless shoulder into the back of Moriarty at a ruck.

    This incident prompted a rapid response by Wales as Adams leapt to catch a pinpoint Biggar cross kick with the Wales fly-half converting.

    [​IMG]
    Fiji's offloading game caused Wales problems from the kick-off
    Adams was denied a try with a foot in touch before Fiji flanker Semi Kunatani was yellow carded for offside.

    After a series of scrums on the line and some patient build-up, Adams crossed for his second with Biggar again converting from the touchline.

    Fiji retaliated and were denied another try when Mata crossed because of a forward pass.

    Two tries disallowed for each side by the TMO and three men yellow-carded. Quite the frantic first 40 minutes.

    Tightened defence
    Wales' defence had briefly tightened up in the second quarter but Fiji tested the rearguard resilience again at the start of the second-half with Radradra outstanding.

    Fiji had a third try disallowed for a forward try before James Davies became the second Welsh player to be yellow carded by Jerome Garces for a ruck offence.

    Fiji took advantage with a penalty try and regained the lead after Wales collapsed a maul.

    Wales then saw Liam Williams collide into Dan Biggar with the fly-half sickeningly collapsing onto the turf and Garces stopped the game immediately,



    The boys definitely felt those tackles - Moriarty
    Biggar eventually ran off the field to be replaced by Rhys Patchell after suffering a second head injury in successive games.

    Patchell's first major contribution was to slot over a penalty as Wales recovered from a ragged period.

    Centre Davies provided a brilliant intervention with a searing break and fend before an outstanding offload provided Adams with his third try.

    The try had consequences with Davies forced off the field and Adams struggling with a leg injury before being replaced after hobbling for a short period.

    Scrum-half Gareth Davies turned provider when he set up Williams for Wales' fourth crucial try to clinch victory.

    But this victory might come at a cost and it was telling that none of the players celebrated at the final whistle.

    Player of the match
    [​IMG]
    Semi Radrada was immense as Fiji gave Wales plenty to think about in Oita
    Wales coach Warren Gatland: "It was tough. From 10-0 down I would've taken a bonus-point win. We showed some real character to get back into that.

    "They have some incredible individual athletes, we showed some character to fight back, I'm pleased with that performance and result. It was a little bit different to the first two games, hopefully it'll set us up nicely going forward."

    Wales: L Williams; North, Jonathan Davies, Parkes, Adams; Biggar, G Davies; Wyn Jones, Owens, Francis, Ball, Alun Wyn Jones (C), Navidi, James Davies, Moriarty.

    Replacements: Carre, Dee, Lewis, Shingler, Wainwright, T Williams, Patchell, Watkin.

    Fiji: Murimurivalu; Tuisova, Nayacalevu, Botia, Radradra; Volavola, Lomani; Ma'afu, S Matavesi, Saulo, Cavubati, Nakarawa, Waqaniburotu (C), Kunatani, Mata.

    Replacements: Dolokoto, Mawi, Ravai, Ratuniyarawa, Yato, Matawalu, Vatubua, J Matavesi.

    Officials: Referee: Jerome Garces (France); Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Karl Dickson (England); TMO Ben Skeen (New Zealand).

    Swami
     
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    Rugby World Cup: Typhoon Hagibis forces England-France off; Scotland wait & Ireland play
    [​IMG]
    By Chris Jones

    BBC rugby union correspondent in Tokyo

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    [​IMG]
    Typhoon Hagibis is expected to make landfall in the Tokyo region on Saturday
    England's Rugby World Cup match against France on Saturday has been called off because of Typhoon Hagibis, but organisers hope Scotland against Japan can go ahead as planned on Sunday.

    The typhoon, described as the biggest of the year, is set to wreak havoc in Tokyo and surrounding areas.

    Ireland's match with Samoa in Fukuoka is expected to go ahead as scheduled.


    "The decision to cancel matches has not been taken lightly," said tournament director Alan Gilpin.

    "It has been made with the best interest of team, public, and tournament volunteer safety as a priority based on expert advice."

    The Pool B match between New Zealand and Italy in Toyota on Saturday has also been cancelled, denying Italy their outside chance of qualifying.

    If the Scotland-Japan match was to be called off, Gregor Townsend's side are likely be knocked out of the World Cup.

    Cancelled matches see both teams awarded two points as part of a 0-0 draw.

    That means England progress as winners of Pool C, two points ahead of France in second place, and face a probable quarter-final against Australia, with Wales expected to top Pool D and therefore play the French.

    France would have the advantage over Wales of a two-week rest, compared to one week.


    Who needs what to reach quarter-finals?
    [​IMG]
    Scotland, third in Pool A on 10 points with leaders Japan on 14, need to beat the hosts to go through, potentially relying on bonus points.

    If second-placed Ireland beat Samoa, a weather-enforced two-point haul would mean Scotland finish third in Pool A and go out, although, in this scenario, an Ireland defeat would mean Scotland progress.

    "We are in regular dialogue with World Rugby at all levels to work to ensure our fixture against Japan on Sunday can be played as planned," said a Scottish Rugby spokesman.

    "Public safety is the clear priority.

    "Scottish Rugby fully expects contingency plans to be put in place to enable Scotland to contest for a place in the quarter-finals on the pitch, and will be flexible to accommodate this."

    England coach Eddie Jones said his squad will leave Tokyo for Miyazaki, the base for their pre-tournament training camp.

    "We're told what to do. There's no use speculating on the alternatives. We're excited about having great preparation for the quarter-finals," he said.

    "We'll have a short pre-season camp in Miyazaki and then we're off to Oita. We have an exceptional record in two-week preparations."

    [​IMG]
    Rugby World Cup organisers brief the media as a screen shows the path of the approaching typhoon
    'Every effort' to play Sunday matches
    The typhoon is expected to clear by Sunday morning, when tournament bosses will stage a comprehensive review to see if the four scheduled games can proceed as planned.

    The deadline for a final decision is six hours before kick-off.

    "We are continuing to review Sunday's matches and make every effort to ensure they are as played as scheduled," added Gilpin.

    "A thorough assessment of the venues will take place after the typhoon has passed before a final decision is made on Sunday morning."

    Gilpin said World Cup organisers looked "exhaustively" at contingency plans, which involved moving or rearranging matches, before deciding that was unfeasible on both logistical and safety grounds.

    "The risks are just too challenging to enable us to deliver a fair and consistent contingency approach for all teams and participants and importantly to provide confidence in the safety of spectators," he said.

    All fans with tickets to cancelled matches will be entitled to a full refund.

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    Australia 27-8 Georgia: Wallabies labour to Rugby World Cup victory




    2019 Rugby World Cup Pool D
    Australia:
    (10) 27
    Tries: White, Koroibete, Dempsey, Genia Cons: Toomua 2 Pen: Toomua
    Georgia: (3) 8
    Try: Todua Pen: Matiashvili
    England's likely World Cup last eight opponents Australia laboured to victory over Georgia in swirling wind and rain.

    With Typhoon Hagibis approaching Japan, the Wallabies took 22 minutes to open the scoring through Nic White's try.

    Michael Cheika's side held a slender 10-3 half-time advantage and saw Isi Naisarani sin-binned for a high tackle.


    A solo score from Marika Koroibete gave Australia a buffer but Alexander Todua crossed for Georgia before Jack Dempsey and Will Genia tries sealed the win.

    The bonus-point victory takes the already-qualified Wallabies top of Pool D, although they will be overtaken by Wales if Warren Gatland's side avoid defeat by Uruguay on Sunday.

    That would confirm a quarter-final meeting on 19 October with England, who will finish top of Pool C after their final group game against France was called off because of the extreme weather forecasted on Saturday.

    Another yellow card and stuttering start
    [​IMG]
    Naisarani became the fourth Australian player to be yellow-carded at the World Cup
    England head coach Eddie Jones is likely to be encouraged by the match in Shizuoka, with Australia's faults in this World Cup refusing to go away.

    The Wallabies were not helped early on by losing full-back Kurtley Beale, who did not return to the field after a head-injury assessment.

    But - having trailed at half-time in both of their opening two pool matches and played 20 of the opening 40 minutes against Uruguay with 14 men - Cheika's side again started sluggishly, making errors deep in Georgia territory to allow the Tier 2 side some brief respite out of their 22.

    Scrum-half White - who will leave Exeter to rejoin the Brumbies Super Rugby franchise next summer - eventually burrowed over from close range to break the deadlock, but a high tackle from Tolu Latu gave Georgia a penalty and was a precursor to further indiscipline.

    Five minutes later number eight Naisarani was yellow-carded for leading with his arm and making contact with the face of Giorgi Nemsadze - a fourth sin-binning of the tournament for the Australians, who were without Reece Hodge because of suspension.

    There was a nice moment as Rob Simmons came off the bench for his 100th cap, but even despite the testing conditions and making 10 changes the Wallabies will be concerned at not being able to kill the game off until the closing stages.

    Georgia compete but rarely threaten
    [​IMG]
    Though qualification was beyond the Lelos in their first-ever meeting with Australia, third place in Pool D and a guaranteed spot at the 2023 World Cup were up for grabs.

    It was a dogged display in Milton Haig's last game in charge, with Georgia's 201 tackles the joint second-highest tally in a World Cup match, behind only France's 205 against New Zealand in 2007.

    Their fine defensive performance was spearheaded by veteran Toulon flanker Mamuka Gorgodze, who was playing in his 15th World Cup match, equalling the Georgian record set by Merab Kvirikashvili.

    However, they struggled to make an impact offensively and lacked the tools to really harm the Wallabies.

    Todua's try in the corner, after a fine run from Lasha Khmaladze, will at least live long in the memory and ensured they scored at least one try in each of their four pool stage matches for the first time.

    What they said
    Australia head coach Michael Cheika:

    "The hit-out was good, having to dig in, work hard, get up off the ground, get into some tough stuff.

    "It's how we wanted the game to go, we wanted to work like that.

    "Our forwards stepped right up to it. We handled the Georgian scrum well, we scored a maul try... and the line-out worked.

    "We did drop a bit too much ball. But I thought our carrying was strong, we just didn't have the finishing touch on a lot of stuff so we'll definitely put that on and we'll prepare that and be ready to finish the opportunities that will come next weekend."

    Georgia head coach Milton Haig:

    "We knew it was going take a toll in the second half.

    "We had some opportunities in the second-half, but we couldn't get our set piece going.

    "I can't fault the boys on how they put themselves about. I was really proud of them tonight, especially in defence."

    Teams
    Australia: Beale, Petaia, O'Connor, Kerevi, Koroibete, Toomua, White, Sio, Latu, Kepu, Rodda, Arnold, Dempsey, Pocock (capt), Naisarani.

    Replacements: Uelese, Slipper, Tupou, Simmons, Salakaia-Loto, Genia, Lealiifano, Haylett-Petty.

    Georgia: Matiashvili, Kveseladze, Kacharava, Sharikadze (capt), Todua, Khmaladze, Aprasidze, Nariashvili, Mamukashvilli, Gigashvili, Nemsadze, Mikautadze, Saghinadze, Gorgodze, Gorgadze.

    Replacements: Bregvadze, Gogichashvili, Melikidze, Giorgadze, Tkhilaishvili, Lobzhanidze, Malaguradze, Mchedlidze.

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    Ireland 47-5 Samoa: Bonus-point win puts Irish into last eight
    [​IMG]
    By Michael Morrow
    [​IMG]
    Johnny Sexton scored two tries as Ireland secured a bonus point before half-time
    2019 Rugby World Cup Pool A: Ireland v Samoa
    Ireland (26) 47
    Tries:
    Best, Furlong, Sexton 2, Larmour, Stander, Conway Cons: Sexton 4, Carbery 2
    Samoa (5) 5
    Try:
    J Lam
    Ireland booked their place in the World Cup quarter-finals with a seven-try win over Samoa in Fukuoka.

    Joe Schmidt's side were forced to play over half the game with 14 men after Bundee Aki's 29th-minute dismissal, by which stage tries from Rory Best, Tadhg Furlong and Johnny Sexton had put them in control.

    Jack Lam replied for Samoa but Sexton crossed again to secure the bonus-point before half-time.


    Jordan Larmour, CJ Stander and Andrew Conway put their names on the scoresheet as Ireland navigated the second half unscathed.

    Ireland's opponents in the last eight will be determined by the outcome of the final Pool A fixture between Japan and Scotland on Sunday, which could still be cancelled with Typhoon Hagibis wreaking havoc in Yokohama.

    If the game does not go ahead, both sides would be awarded two points meaning Japan finish top of Pool A with second-placed Ireland tasked with meeting two-time reigning world champions New Zealand in Tokyo next Saturday.

    If the Sunday's game goes ahead, a Scotland win without Japan claiming two losing bonus-points would see Ireland finish top, therefore facing South Africa in the last eight.

    Aki red not critical for Ireland
    [​IMG]
    Bundee Aki became the first Ireland player to be red-carded in a World Cup match
    Knowing a five-point win would assure their progress regardless of events in Yokohama, Ireland began purposefully, with the decision to kick for the corner as opposed to taking an easy three points paying off twice in the first nine minutes.

    Captain Best drove over from a rolling maul before the destructive Furlong broke through four would-be tacklers to cross from close distance as Ireland made the most of Samoan indiscipline.

    Sexton's first try, after a slick break and offload from Larmour, put Ireland on the cusp of the bonus-point with just a quarter of the game gone.

    However, two incidents in the space of five moments threatened to completely alter the direction of the contest.

    After Lam barrelled over the top of Ireland's defence to put Samoa on the board, Aki was dismissed for a tackle direct to the head of fly-half Ulupano Seuteni.

    Samoa's momentum was short-lived as they failed to translate their numerical superiority into any sort of meaningful advantage.

    Sexton's show and go off the back of a scrum just before the interval saw Ireland enter the break with the job done, ensuring there was little in the way of tension when the players re-emerged from the tunnel.

    Larmour puts hand up for selection
    [​IMG]
    Larmour's was the silkiest footwork on display and he will be pushing for a quarter-final start
    In a satisfactory evening for Ireland, several loose passes and handling errors that contributed to some of their hairiest moments in the first half will come under the microscope with the All Blacks or the Springboks looming on the horizon.

    Attention will now turn to team selection for Ireland's biggest game since the last eight in 2015.

    While in truth there is a clear first-choice player in most positions, Leinster full-back Larmour put in a performance that may just persuade Schmidt to stick with the 22-year-old next week.

    An accusation that has been made against this Ireland team in recent times is that they are one-dimensional in attack.

    Against Samoa, Larmour was a constant and unpredictable threat with ball in hand as he sought to jink through the opposition defence at every opportunity.

    His probing paid off for Sexton's opening try and he was rewarded with a score of his own nine minutes after the break, latching onto Conor Murray's perfect flat pass.

    In Rob Kearney, Schmidt has a player who has delivered in most of Ireland's biggest games over the past decade, however Larmour's impressive outings against Scotland and Samoa will certainly have given the head coach food for thought.

    [​IMG]
    Johnny Sexton scored 18 points in the game, the most he has scored in a Rugby World Cup game
    Ireland injury-free as pitch holds firm
    Concerns over the condition of the pitch at the Hakatanomori Stadium rose to the surface during Friday's captain's run, during which Irish players were able to lift up the turf enough to fit a rugby ball underneath.

    Mercifully, the injuries that many thought inevitable on such a track did not materialise, and in general the pitch held up well for the 80 minutes.

    With the game being played totally on their terms in the second half, Ireland removed Sexton and Conor Murray, who once again displayed their importance to the side in two perfectly-controlled displays.

    The game situation also allowed Schmidt to give second-choice fly-half Joey Carbery some vital minutes to make an impression, with the Munster man having played just 20 minutes in the previous three games.

    After Stander powered over following sustained Irish pressure inside the Samoan five-metre line, it was Carbery's well-judged grubber kick that allowed Conway to put the finishing touches on a hugely satisfactory Irish display.

    Match stats
    • Bundee Aki is the first player to be sent off for Ireland in a World Cup match, and the fourth to be sent off in any game for Ireland (Willie Duggan, Jamie Heaslip, CJ Stander).
    • Samoa have now lost each of their last 11 games against Tier 1 opposition at the Rugby World Cup, their last such victory coming back in 1999 against Wales.
    • There have now been seven red cards shown at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the previous highest at the tournament was four in both 1995 and 1999.
    • This was the fifth time 14 men have beaten 15 in a Rugby World Cup match (excluding sin-binnings). Only Canada's 72-11 win against Namibia in 1999 has seen a bigger margin of victory (42 points) for the outnumbered side.
    • This was just the fourth time Ireland have scored 4+ first-half tries in a Rugby World Cup match, five v Namibia 2003, five v Russia 2011, four v Canada in 2015.
    Ireland: Larmour; Earls, Henshaw, Aki, Stockdale; Sexton, Murray; Healy, Best, Furlong, Henderson, James Ryan; Beirne, Van der Flier, Stander.

    Replacements: Scannell, Kilcoyne, Porter, Kleyn, O'Mahony, McGrath, Carbery, Conway.

    Samoa: Nanai-Williams; Tuala, Leiua, Taefu, Fidow; Seuteni, Polataivao; Mulipola, S Lam Alaalatoa, Paulo, Le'aupepe; Vui, Ioane, J Lam.

    Replacements: Niuia, Alo-Emile, Lay, Fa'asalele, Tyrell, Cowley, Pisi, Fonotia.

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    Rugby World Cup 2019: Namibia-Canada off amid safety fears




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    affecting large parts of Japan in what could be the country's worst storm for 60 years.

    Scotland are due to play hosts Japan in Yokohama on Sunday in Pool A and will be eliminated if the game is cancelled.


    However, organisers said they "remain optimistic that Sunday's remaining matches will go ahead as scheduled".

    The New Zealand v Italy and England v France games scheduled for Saturday were cancelled.

    Scotland need to take four more points than the host nation to progress to the quarter-finals.

    Namibia and Canada occupied the bottom two places in Pool B with only two points apiece.

    Organisers said there had been "landslides and flooding" in the vicinity of the Kamaishi stadium and "along access roads to the venue following torrential rain" throughout the night.

    "The safety of all involved in #RWC2019 is our primary consideration and fans are advised not to travel to Kamaishi or the venue, which will be closed.

    "Ticket holders will be entitled to a full face-value refund."

    Also on Sunday, United States are due to play Tonga in Hanazono, with Wales against Uruguay scheduled for Kumamoto.

    Tournament Director Alan Gilpin said: "Kumamoto, Hanazono and Yokohama are much further south and therefore outside of the impact of the storm conditions this morning."

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    Rugby World Cup: Japan v Scotland to go ahead after stadium inspection






    [​IMG]
    Rugby World Cup Pool A: Japan v Scotland
    Venue:
    International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama Date: Sunday, 13 October Kick-off: 11:45 BST
    Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Scotland, Radio 5 Live, plus text updates on the BBC Sport website and app.
    Scotland's World Cup game with Japan will go ahead on Sunday, World Rugby has confirmed.

    Gregor Townsend's men would have been eliminated from the World Cup had the Pool A finale been cancelled.

    The game was under threat from Typhoon Hagibis, with a switch of dates already ruled out.


    The host nation lead Scotland by four points after three victories and a cancellation would have resulted in the match being declared a draw.

    Group rivals Ireland have secured their place in the last eight with a bonus-point win over Samoa.

    Scotland must now take four more points than Japan to progress to the quarter finals.

    An inspection of the stadium in Yokohama by World Rugby took place at 22:00 BST on Saturday, with an announcement made nearly five hours later.

    The New Zealand v Italy and England v France games scheduled for Saturday were cancelled.

    World Rugby rules state that "where a pool match cannot be commenced on the day in which it is scheduled, it shall not be postponed to the following day and shall be considered as cancelled. In such situations, the result shall be allocated two points each and no score registered".

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    United States 19-31 Tonga: Tongans end Rugby World Cup campaign with win






    [​IMG]
    Tonga ended their run of five consecutive World Cup defeats with victory over the United States
    2019 Rugby World Cup Pool C: United States v Tonga
    United States:
    (12) 19
    Tries: Te'o 2, Lamborn Con: MacGinty 2
    Tonga: (7) 31
    Tries: Fisiihoi, Hingano, Piutau, Veainu Cons: Takulua 2, Faiva, Piutau Pen: Takulua
    Tonga came from behind to deservedly beat the United States in their final Pool C game and earn their first win of the Rugby World Cup.

    Siegfried Fisiihoi opened the scoring but the USA took control with two tries from replacement winger Mike Te'o.

    But Sontane Takulua's penalty reduced the deficit, before Mali Hingano scored a runaway try to put them in front.


    Departing captain Siale Piutau sealed victory and Telusa Veainu scored late on, after a Tony Lamborn consolation.

    Tonga were dominant throughout but mistakes prevented them from winning by a greater margin.

    Fisiihoi dropped the ball with the try-line at his mercy in the first half, before Veainu threw a simple pass into touch with Viliami Lolohea poised to score.

    But they maintained their intensity and the pressure eventually told when Hingano finished off a move that started in his own half, while skipper Piutau bowed out of international rugby with a deserved try.

    Lamborn grounded the ball against the posts to claim a try and bring the Eagles to within five points.

    But with just seconds remaining, Piutau opted for the scrum rather than kicking for goal - and the move paid off as Veainu latched on to Latiume Fosita's kick to score with the final play, before Piutau signed off with the conversion.

    Defeat for the United States was their 10th consecutive World Cup loss, while Tonga ended their run of five tournament defeats.

    Teams
    United States: Hooley; Scully, Campbell, Lasike, Brache; MacGinty, De Haas; Fry, Taufete'e, Lamositele, Peterson, Civetta, Lamborn, Al-Jiboori, Dolan

    Replacements: Hilterbrand, Kilifi, Mullen, Landry, Germishuys, Pinkelman, Augspurger, Te'o,

    Tonga: Veainu; Pakalani, Hingano, Piutau, Lolohea; Faiva, Takulua; Fisiihoi, Ngauamo, Halanukonuka, Lousi, Fifita, Kalamafoni, Kapeli, Vaipulu

    Replacements: Maile, Fifita, Fia, Faleafa, Manu, Fukofuka, Fosita, Halaifonua,

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    Wales 35-13 Uruguay: Win sets up France World Cup quarter-final
    By Dafydd Pritchard

    [​IMG]
    Prop Nicky Smith's close-range try was all Wales had to show from a lacklustre first half against Uruguay
    2019 Rugby World Cup: Wales v Uruguay
    Wales
    (7) 35
    Tries:
    Smith, Adams, Penalty try, T Williams, G Davies Cons: Halfpenny 4
    Uruguay (6) 13
    Try:
    Kessler Con: Berchesi Pens: Berchesi 2
    A shadow Wales side laboured to a bonus-point victory over minnows Uruguay to set up a World Cup quarter-final against France.

    Wales only led 7-6 after a first half littered with handling errors, the only try coming from prop Nicky Smith.

    Josh Adams' fifth score in Japan and a penalty try extended the advantage, only for German Kessler to drive over.


    Replacements Tomos Williams and Gareth Davies both crossed to seal the bonus point as Wales topped Pool D.

    They only needed two points to do so - thanks to their head-to-head record against Australia - but this result also means they have won all of their World Cup group matches for the first time since the inaugural tournament in 1987.

    Chances squandered
    This was not the match Wales had envisaged.

    Head coach Warren Gatland was always planning to make wholesale changes because this fixture came just four days after their bruising victory over Fiji.

    The physical nature of that match increased the need for squad rotation, with fly-half Dan Biggar, centre Jonathan Davies and wing George North among those to sustain injuries and prompt 13 changes.

    But regardless of the 15 players taking to the field - and no matter how impressive Uruguay were in their shock opening victory over Fiji - Wales were expected to make light work of Los Teros.

    [​IMG]
    Wales replacement Gareth Davies' late try against Uruguay gave the scoreline a little gloss
    The Six Nations champions started with plenty of attacking intent, with backs and forwards alike throwing the ball around freely and trying to make the game as wide and open as possible.

    However, the execution did not match the ambition.

    There were multiple handling errors - Aaron Wainwright squandered a chance to score a try as he spilled the ball over the line, and Hallam Amos had a try disallowed for a forward pass by Hadleigh Parkes.

    Between the many knock-ons and dropped balls, Wales took the lead as prop Smith burrowed over from close range to score his first international try.

    A half-time lead of 7-6 left a lot to be desired, and the mistakes continued in the second half.

    The sheer volume of errors was illustrated by the fact Amos had a hat-trick of tries disallowed, two for forward passes and one for dropping the ball over the line.

    Luckily for Wales, however, it did not matter. Four second-half tries sealed a bonus-point win which few will remember - not that anybody in Wales will care if they follow it up with victory over France on 20 October (08:15 BST).

    Los Teros bid to 'shock the world'
    Uruguay had already ensured this was their best World Cup campaign thanks to their thrilling victory over Fiji in their opening fixture.

    Los Teros were not content with one win, though, and they spelled that out with a message written in big red letters on a whiteboard at their hotel which read: "Shock the world."

    Given Uruguay had lost all eight of their previous World Cup fixtures against tier-one sides - by an average of 54 points - beating Wales would have done just that.

    [​IMG]
    German Kessler's try was just reward for Uruguay's performance against Wales
    Their squad is largely comprised of amateur and semi-professional players, and their tight-head prop in Kumamoto, Diego Arbelo Garcia, is a taxi driver.

    But they made a mockery of the gulf in quality and resources as they defended stoically to frustrate their opponents on Sunday.

    They got under Welsh skins too, with captain Juan Manuel Gaminara goading Aled Davies and Parkes to prompt a scuffle in the tunnel at half-time.

    Uruguay had their tails up at that point, only trailing 7-6 at the break thanks to two penalties from Felipe Berchesi.

    And although any hopes of another famous win disappeared with Wales' flurry of second-half scores, Kessler's try was reward for an admirable effort from a Uruguay side who have made huge progress during this World Cup.

    MAN OF THE MATCH - Bradley Davies. Only added to the squad following Cory Hill's injury, the experienced lock was busy with ball in hand and carried Wales forward with his power in his first appearance of the tournament.

    Wales coach Warren Gatland said: "I'm happy with four from four, not too happy with some of tonight. We were poor at times, not clinical, too many turnovers in that first half and probably blew about four or five chances but we showed a little bit of character in the second half.

    "We spoke about being a bit more direct. We were probably trying to play a bit too much rugby.

    "They're a tough outfit to put away. They're tenacious, they make the tackles and they're a tidy little side.

    "We probably didn't respect the ball enough, (there were) a lot of turnovers. Then, second half, we started being a bit more direct and earning the right to play and we were a bit better."

    Teams
    Wales: Halfpenny; Adams, Watkin, Parkes, Amos; Patchell, A Davies; Smith, Elias, Lewis, B Davies, Beard, Shingler, Tipuric (capt), Wainwright.

    Replacements: Dee, Carre, W Jones, Ball, Moriarty, James Davies, T Williams, G Davies.

    Uruguay: Mieres; Leivas, Cat, Vilaseca, Freitas; Berchesi, Arata; Sanguinetti, Kessler, Arbelo, Dotti, Leindeker, Gaminara (capt), Civetta, Nieto.

    Replacements: Pujadas, Echeverria, Rombys, Magno, Diana, Ormaechea, Inciarte, Silva.

    Officials: Referee, Angus Gardner (Australia); Assistant referees, Luke Pearce (England), Karl Dickson (England); TMO, Rowan Kitt (England).

    Swami
     

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