11 Oct 2019

Rugby World Cup quarter-final scenario

7:04 am on 11 October 2019

Here's a look at the quarter-final qualification scenarios as teams enter the final weekend of pool-stage action at the Rugby World Cup and following the cancellation of two matches (current pool points totals in brackets).

Peter Horne - Scotland centre along side his treble scoring brother George at the end of the match as both players celebrate a 61-0 victory over Russia.

Peter and George Horne Photo: PHOTOSPORT


Ireland (11 points) can guarantee progress with a bonus-point victory over Samoa (5) on Saturday but a win without a bonus point could open the way for a three-way tie at the top on 15 points. In that scenario, the deadlock would be settled by total points difference in the pool matches, with Ireland (+52) and Scotland (+71) guaranteed to progress because their currently superior points difference could not be bettered in defeat by Japan (+46).

Scotland (10) are scheduled to play Japan (14) in the final game of the pool phase on Sunday. If Scotland win with no bonus points for either side, they would go above Japan on the head-to-head result. They would also advance with a bonus point win - assuming Japan do not collect two bonus points in defeat.

If Japan gain a losing bonus point and Scotland fail to claim a bonus point, Japan would finish above the Scots and advance to the knockout stage in first or second place.

Victory or a draw for Japan would seal top spot, but they could also go through as pool winners if they lose to Scotland by seven points or less but score four tries, delivering a rare, but not impossible, two bonus points.

There is still a possibility that the Japan v Scotland game will be cancelled due to the typhoon danger. If that happened, the match would be declared a 0-0 draw with each team being given two points. That would guarantee Japan top place and Ireland would take second place with a win, or even a losing bonus point against Samoa, with Scotland eliminated.

Four years ago Japan won three games but finished third in their pool because of bonus points, pipped to qualification by Scotland and South Africa - the only time a team has won three pool matches and not progressed.

Likely outcome: Ireland to qualify. Too close to call on who joins them.


After the cancellation of New Zealand's game against Italy, the top three places are settled. New Zealand (16) top the group, with South Africa (15) runners-up. Italy (12) finish third.

New Zealand will play the Pool A runners-up, with South Africa playing the Group A winners.


Things are also settled here after England v France was cancelled. England (17) and France (15) are through to the last eight. Group winners England will play the runners-up from Pool D, probably Australia, with France likely to play Wales.


Wales (14) and Australia (11) are guaranteed a place in the last eight.

A win for Australia against Georgia (5) on Friday could mean Wales need to win against Uruguay on Sunday to stay top, although they could still top the group if they pick up one or two losing bonus points against Uruguay (4), depending on whether Australia collect a winning bonus point.

Fiji (7) are currently third, with no games remaining. Georgia would need to beat Wales to overhaul Fiji and secure automatic qualification for the 2023 World Cup. Likely outcome: Wales and Australia to both win their last game, Wales to top the group ahead of Australia.


Oct. 19 England v Runner-up Pool D

New Zealand v Runner-up Pool A

Oct. 20 Winner Pool D v France

Winner Pool A v South Africa


Oct. 26 Winner QF1 v Winner QF2

Oct. 27 Winner QF3 v Winner QF4

Nov. 1 Third place playoff

Nov. 2 Final