Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 October 2019

Rugby World Cup 2019 permutations: What does Typhoon Hagibis mean for Scotland, Ireland and Japan’s qualifying chances?

If their match against Scotland is cancelled, Japan will top the group, no matter what happens between Ireland and Samoa

Organisers of the Rugby World Cup say they will make a decision early on Sunday morning on whether the crucial Pool A fixture between Japan and Scotland can go ahead.

The matches between England and France, and New Zealand and Italy have already been cancelled, as Japan braces for Typhoon Hagibis.

The storm is forecast to make landfall with Japan’s main island of Honshu on Saturday evening, with winds of up to 230kmh and 200mm of rainfall. It is said to be the biggest typhoon of the year in the region.

Ireland’s match against Samoa on Saturday will go ahead. It is being played in Fukuoka, which is over 1,000km to the west of Tokyo.

If Tokyo remains in shutdown on Sunday, the match between Japan and Scotland will not take place. It will be deemed a scoreless draw, and both sides will be awarded two points.

Pool A – as it stands

1 Japan 3 3 0 14

2 Ireland 3 2 1 11

3 Scotland 3 2 1 10

If their match against Scotland is cancelled, Japan will top the group, no matter what happens between Ireland and Samoa.

If Ireland win in Fukuoka on Saturday with a four-try bonus point, they will reach 16 points. The two points for a scoreless draw for Japan will take them to the same total.

If sides are tied on points at the end of the group stage, the winner of the fixture between those teams will be ranked higher.

So Japan would enter a quarter-final against South Africa, in Tokyo on Sunday October 20.

As runners up in the pool, Ireland will face New Zealand – who are confirmed as winning Pool B, despite their cancelled fixture against Italy – in Tokyo on Saturday October 19.

The scoreless draw would send Scotland out – unless Samoa beat Ireland, and restrict them from gaining any bonus points, either for scoring four tries, or losing by seven points or less.

If Scotland and Ireland did finish level on points, Ireland would advance having won the fixture the two sides played against each other.

Updated: October 10, 2019 11:24 AM

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