No one really believe that much would have changed in the results between England v France and New Zealand v Italy.
All due respect to France and Italy but we would have most properly have seen an England and New Zealand win in these two matches, which would have the top of both Pool B and Pool C matches play out the same as it stand now.
The one game that everyone is going on about is the clash between the host Japan that must face Scotland on Sunday.
The decision have not yet been taken to cancel this match but there is a huge possibility that it will be cancelled.
This will leave Scotland with 12 log points and Japan on 16 which will also mean Japan top the pool and will be playing the Springboks in the quarter final.
Ireland will end second even with a bonus point win. The rules state that if two or more teams are tied after the pool stages, they will look at the head-to-head result of those teams.
In this case Ireland lost against Japan so Japan will earn the top spot in the pool.
Scotland will be going home even though they could have secured a quarter final spot if they beat Japan with a bonus point and prevented them from getting more than one bonus point.
Scotland will have to wait till Sunday morning before they know if they are still able to play the game or if they will be on a plane back home.
“Every effort is being made to ensure Sunday’s matches will be played as scheduled,” said a statement from World Rugby. “A thorough assessment of venues will take place after the typhoon has passed before a final decision is made on Sunday morning.”
Changing the venue or the kick-off time is not an option and World Rugby have stated that all the teams have known about the tournament rules before the time.
Tournament director Alan Gilpin said: “We looked pretty exhaustively over the last few days at all of the options. I think it is important to note that where we are now in terms of cancelling matches is entirely in accordance with what we laid out before the tournament, that matches in the pool phase wouldn’t be postponed or relocated.
He also said that their will be no exceptions for the Japan v Scotland match and all matches will be played under the same rules.
Scottish rugby made it clear to World Rugby that they expect the game to go ahead as planned even if it has to be behind close doors
“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. Public safety is the clear priority,” said a Scottish Rugby spokesman.
“With potential impact on our last Pool A fixture, 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.”
Interpreting the rules
The competition rules state: “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 declared a draw andTeams will be allocated two Match points each and no score registered. For the avoidance of doubt, no bonus points will be awarded.”
However, it is understood that Scottish Rugby will argue vigorously that there is scope within the rules framework for what is effectively a knock-out game to be pushed back in this instance.
Elsewhere in the rules it is stated that: “In the interests of the Teams, the commencement of Matches at the scheduled time shall be the first priority in all instances. However, in circumstances deemed necessary and/or appropriate by RWCL, Matches may need to be delayed, postponed, abandoned or cancelled. All decisions in this regard shall be communicated to Teams by the Match Commissioner.”
It could, therefore, be argued that it is not an automatic conclusion to the terms of participation that when a pool match cannot be played on the day on which it is scheduled it shall be considered as cancelled (and declared a draw), and that the tournament organisers, Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL), have an overriding authority and duty to allow the game to be played in order to preserve the integrity of the tournament.
There are also provisions in the participation agreement for “force majeure” including a “storm or tempest” causing a match not going ahead at the agreed time, which authorises the Disputes Committee of RWCL to reschedule the match with the minimum amount of disruption and with the tournament’s integrity protected.
The tournament rules also state: “Where a knock-out Match cannot be commenced on the scheduled Match day, it will be considered as postponed, and will be re-scheduled to be played within the two days following the scheduled Match day, or such longer period as determined by RWCL.”
An emergency weather alert issued on Thursday morning by the U.S. Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council, said: “Based on current tracking, Typhoon Hagibis (Typhoon No. 19) is expected to bring extremely high winds, dangerous storm tides, heavy rainfall, and possible flooding to areas of Central Japan, including the Tokyo area, beginning Saturday, October 12, 2019, and continuing through Sunday, October 13, 2019.”
People in Japan were instructed to avoid travel to affected areas until the storm has dissipated.
“The decision to cancel matches has not been taken lightly and has been made in the best interests of public, team, tournament personnel and volunteer safety, based on expert advice and detailed weather information,” said the World Rugby statement. “While we have extensively explored all options, public and team safety was our utmost priority as well as ensuring a consistent, fair and equitable outcome for all teams. All fans with tickets for a cancelled match will receive a full refund for the face value of their match tickets.
Gilpin added: “This is a complex and dynamic situation which we have been monitoring extremely closely with the assistance of our weather information experts. We are now in a position to accurately predict the likely impact of Typhoon Hagibis on Rugby World Cup fixtures this weekend.
“While making every possible effort to put in place a contingency plan that would enable all of Saturday’s matches to be played, it would be grossly irresponsible to leave teams, fans, volunteers and other tournament personnel exposed during what is predicted to be a severe typhoon.
“As a result, we have taken the decision to cancel some matches in order to ensure the safety of all involved. It is the right thing to do, and comes with the support of all stakeholders, including the teams.
“We fully appreciate that England, France, New Zealand and Italy fans will be disappointed, but we trust they will appreciate that their safety must come first. They will be entitled to a full refund on their match tickets.
“Our message for all fans in Japan for Rugby World Cup is to heed all official advice, stay indoors throughout Saturday and do not attempt to travel on the day.”
Source: The Offsideline