Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Who will qualify for the 1/4? Scenarios and explanations

The Rugby World Cup will soon enter a new phase with the start of the quarter-finals from October 14 after more than a month of a group stage that was quite long and not very interesting for certain “specialists”. But before that, we will be treated to one last decisive day in many groups.

Everything is to be done in group A

To begin with, the France group is far from having delivered its verdict since neither the French XV nor the All Blacks are assured of qualification. Italy, currently 3rd, can still claim qualification following the result it obtains against the Blues this Friday. In detail as World Rugby explains:

  • France will finish at the top of Pool A if they do not lose against Italy.
  • It will also pocket first place if it wins the defensive and offensive bonus points against Italy and if the latter does not win an offensive bonus (15 points in the ranking against 14 for Italy). Under the rule of direct confrontations, if New Zealand and France finish tied with 15 points, it is France who will qualify since they won their face-to-face with the All Blacks.
  • If New Zealand achieves an improved victory in their final match, they will qualify for the quarter-finals. Indeed, even if France, Italy and New Zealand finish with 15 points on the clock, the All Blacks have the best points difference of the three (+133 against +125 for France and -14 for Italy at present). Italy would then qualify in second position ahead of France under the head-to-head rule.
  • Uruguay is not yet mathematically eliminated: to qualify for the quarter-finals, the Teros must beat New Zealand by at least 80 points by scoring an offensive bonus point while France beats Italy.
  • If Uruguay wins an improved victory over New Zealand by preventing the latter from obtaining a bonus point, and if at the same time Italy recovers at least one bonus point against France, Uruguay will finish third in the group at the expense of New Zealand under the head-to-head rule. The Teros will then automatically qualify for RWC 2027.
  • Italy will only need to score one point to automatically qualify for RWC 2027.

Three teams tied in Pool B?

The group which will meet France from the quarter-finals is perhaps the most undecided with a decisive match this Saturday October 6 between the Irish and the Scots. Currently, both teams can still qualify and eliminate reigning world champions South Africa, who have already played their matches. Scenarios :

  • To finish in second place, Scotland must beat Ireland by preventing them from scoring a bonus point. It will then be South Africa which will finish at the top of the group under the rule of direct confrontations.
  • If Ireland obtains a bonus point without Scotland obtaining one, it is Ireland who will finish at the top of the group ahead of South Africa under the head-to-head rule.
  • An enhanced victory for Scotland with a bonus point, without Ireland obtaining any bonus points, would allow them to qualify in second place behind South Africa. The Springboks would finish top of the table under the head-to-head rule.
  • If Scotland beat Ireland and both teams get a bonus point, they will join South Africa on 15 points. First place will then be determined under the points difference rule.
  • Scotland will need to win by 21 points or more to take first place ahead of South Africa (currently South Africa +117, Ireland +122 and Scotland +97). Ireland would then take second place under the head-to-head rule thanks to their victory over South Africa. If Scotland do not win by this margin, South Africa will finish top on points difference and Scotland second under the head-to-head rule.
  • Ireland will secure first place if they score at least two points against Scotland.

Wales awaits their runner-up in Pool C

The Welsh, authors of an excellent group stage including a very valuable success against the Australians, were the first to validate their ticket for the quarter-finals. After a rather gloomy 6 Nations Tournament, the Chardon XV is one of the good surprises of this World Cup. Behind, even if Australia can still dream of qualifying, Fiji seem to be best placed to obtain 2nd place. Scenarios :

  • Wales need to pick up a point against Georgia to secure top spot in Pool C.
  • Fiji only needs a point against Portugal to confirm their second place thanks to their victory over Australia.
  • If Fiji does not score any points against Portugal, Australia will finish second in the group and qualify for the quarter-finals.

Japan – Argentina for a quarterfinal qualification in Pool D

England are, after Wales, the second nation to qualify for the quarter-finals of the World Cup. Better than the Welsh, the XV de la Rose is certain to finish in first place in group D. On the other hand, everything has to be done for 2nd place since Japan, 3rd, and Argentina 2nd, can both claim to qualification. Scenarios :

  • Whatever happens, first place in Pool D goes to England under the rule of direct confrontations (five points ahead of Argentina and Japan, two teams beaten by the XV de la Rose) .
  • The winner of Japan – Argentina will obtain second place and will therefore qualify for the quarter-finals.
  • A draw could be enough to secure second place for either Japan or Argentina, depending on any offensive bonus points and Samoa’s result against England.
  • If the two teams draw and obtain the offensive bonus point, it is Argentina who will finish second on the points difference (+46 against +18).
  • In the event of a draw, Japan must be the only team to obtain a bonus point to be able to finish second.
  • In the event of a draw without either team scoring an offensive bonus point, Samoa will have to beat England by 29 points with an offensive bonus point to have the best points difference of the three teams and finish thus in second place (+47). Argentina would then finish third on points difference with Japan and thus qualify for RWC 2027.


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