Day 25 at the Rugby World Cup: Ireland secure quarter-final place
England’s match with France and New Zealand’s encounter with Italy were cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.
Ireland are through to the World Cup quarter-finals after beating Samoa 47-5 in their Pool A match in Fukuoka.
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But Typhoon Hagibis is still the focus of attention, with Scotland’s crunch final Pool A match against hosts Japan still in doubt.
England’s Pool C match with France and New Zealand’s Pool A encounter with Italy, both scheduled for Saturday, had already been cancelled due to the storm.
Here, the PA news agency wraps up Saturday’s key events in Japan and takes a look ahead to Sunday.
Irish through despite Bundee blow
Stats to back up a great performance, which earned Jordan Larmour the @mastercard Player of the Match for #IREvSAM— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 12, 2019
65 metres made (Most in the Match)
Two clean breaks (Most in the Match)
12 Defenders Beaten (Most in the Match)#RWC2019 #POTM #StartSomethingPriceless pic.twitter.com/DoKCzfZAQ8
Johnny Sexton’s two-try turn dragged 14-man Ireland to the World Cup quarter-finals but Bundee Aki’s red card against Samoa could end his tournament.
Ireland’s bonus-point victory in Fukuoka sealed a safe passage to the last eight, whatever happens in Japan and Scotland’s typhoon-threatened encounter on Sunday.
Joe Schmidt’s men moved top of Pool A and booked a quarter-final against either New Zealand or South Africa, thanks to two tries from Sexton and scores for Rory Best, Tadhg Furlong, Jordan Larmour, CJ Stander and Andrew Conway.
Aki’s red card for a high tackle on UJ Seuteni marred the victory, however, and now the centre born in New Zealand to Samoan parents will face a suspension.
Berry big call
Ireland were reduced to 14 men when Aki was sent off for a tackle direct to the head.
He did not drop low enough in the tackle and followed through with a big hit on Samoa fly-half Seuteni.
There was no malice in the challenge but once the footage was reviewed referee Nic Berry produced the red card in a heartbeat.
Aki’s red card was the first shown to an Ireland player since Stander was sent off against South Africa in Cape Town in 2016.
Anxious wait for Scots
The centre of Typhoon #Hagibis is making its final approach towards #Japan. The town of Hakone, southwest of Tokyo, has recorded 645.5 mm (25.4") rain in the last 12 hours. This is not far short of Japan's record 12-hour rainfall total of 695 mm. pic.twitter.com/7crWPBk1QC— Met Office Storms (@metofficestorms) October 12, 2019
World Rugby says it aims to make a decision on whether Scotland’s
storm-threatened clash with Japan on Sunday can go ahead as early as possible.
Reports have suggested an inspection of Yokohama’s International Stadium –
where the climax to Pool A is due to be played – will take place at 6am Japan
time on the morning of the game (10pm Saturday BST), with a decision due two hours later.
But the tournament organisers say they will only be able to make that call once it is safe enough for inspections to take place.
World Rugby must make a final decision on whether the game goes ahead no later than six hours before the 7.45pm (11.45am BST) kick-off time.
Scotland must beat the Brave Blossoms to qualify for the quarter-finals. If
they match is called off, it will be declared a draw and Gregor Townsend’s team
will exit the competition.
Wales set for clean sweep
Wales are back in action on Sunday, tackling Uruguay at Kumamoto Stadium.
A fourth successive win would make it the first time since 1987 for them to go
unbeaten through a World Cup pool phase.
And they will be red-hot favourites to post a third bonus point victory from
four starts, setting them up for a quarter-final showdown with France.
“Uruguay are a good attacking unit, but we just have to turn up with
the right attitude and put in a performance that we can be proud of,” said Wales defence specialist Shaun Edwards.