Rugby World Cup Review: Week Three

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The typhoon is expected to pass over the main cities of Japan on Saturday.

 

The outcome of Pool A impacts on the All Blacks and South Africa who will be awaiting the result of the Japan-Scotland game to know who they will be facing in the quarterfinals.

 

Pool A:

 

Japan, backed up their upset win over Ireland by containing the Samoan threat when claiming a 38-19 win. That really turned the pressure on Scotland after their earlier 3-27 loss to Ireland. Scotland did gain a bonus point 61-0 win over Russia but as events have proven that earlier loss may yet come back to haunt the Scots, who have still not really recovered from their playoffs loss to Australia and the refereeing decision that ended their chances at the 2015 World Cup. As it stands, Scotland will need to beat Japan should their game go ahead on Sunday if they are to be a chance. And Ireland can't be too cautious either. They last played on Thursday last week and are scheduled to play Samoa on Saturday. A win for Ireland would really put the acid on Japan to win on Sunday to claim the pool and avoid the All Blacks in the quarterfinal.

Pool B:

 

New Zealand and South Africa had dominated the pool and were first and second with only Italy having a last chance to upset the applecart. But the weather has put paid to that. What that has shown is the extra value New Zealand gained from their first-up win over South Africa. The Springboks comfortably handled Italy 49-3 on Friday last week while on Sunday, the All Blacks beat Namibia 71-9. Forced to absorb a lot of first half pressure from Namibia, and a lesson around attitude, that was a game that may yet prove crucial to New Zealand's mental approach ahead of the quarterfinal. The game also showed the skill level the All Blacks are capable of unleashing with TJ Perenara's late try. South Africa rounded out their pool play with a 66-7 win over Canada. Namibia and Canada are scheduled to play their last games on Sunday.

Pool C:

 

England saw off Argentina's threat with a 39-10 win on Saturday, a result aided by the red card to lock Tomas Lavanini which significantly reduced Argentina's hopes in a game that was vital to them. France got home against Tonga, but not before the Pacific Islanders had pushed them all the way, the final margin being 23-21. All manner of discord has apparently hit the French squad and the players are apparently running the cutter themselves in the wake of disputes with the teach coach Jacques Brunel – shades of Auckland in 2011. Argentina completed their tournament with a 47-17 win over the United States. But the pool was well wrapped up by the time the abandonment of the England-France game was decided with England two points clear on top.

 

Pool D:

 

Wales and Australia have dominated the pool and increased the distance between themselves and their rivals with their most recent games. Australia accounted for Uruguay 45-10 on Saturday while Wales got a useful hurry up from Fiji before claiming a 29-17 win. Fiji paid dearly for their upset 27-30 loss to Uruguay but managed to show their best form in the Wales game albeit too late to be of any consequence. Wales did suffer some injury worries and coach Warren Gatland was left with concerns over his first five-eighths position for their final game on Sunday against Uruguay which is still scheduled to be played. Australia finish their pool play when playing Georgia on Friday.

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