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John Duggan
John Duggan

10.10 9 Oct 2019


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Pool A of the Rugby World Cup will be in the melting pot going into the final round of matches after Scotland comprehensively beat Russia 61-0 in Shizuoka.

Out-half Adam Hastings got the show on the road by scoring two tries within the first 17 minutes, before George Horne touched down twice by the 44th minute.

That earned the Scots the bonus point and Horne would end up with a hat-trick.

George Turner, Tommy Seymour, John Barclay and Stuart McInally added further touchdowns in the second period as the Scots gained a much more impressive win over the Russians than Ireland did.

The permutations are as follows:

Japan lie on 14 points, with Ireland on 11 and Scotland on 10.

A bonus point win over Samoa on Saturday will guarantee Ireland a berth in the quarter finals.  If this happens and Japan win against the Scots, a date with world champions New Zealand is on the horizon for Joe Schmidt's men in the quarter finals.

If Ireland gain the bonus point and Japan lose, then Ireland would top the pool and be looking at South Africa in the last eight.

A win without a bonus point would place Ireland on 15 points.  If Scotland were then to defeat Japan, with both sides picking up bonus points, all teams would be level on 15 points. It would then come down to points difference for top spot, with head to head results deciding second and third in the pool.

Ireland play Samoa in Fukuoka at 11.45am Irish time on Saturday.

Japan and Scotland are scheduled to meet at 11.45am Irish time in Yokohama on Sunday. Right now it's uncertain what impact Typhoon Hagibis will have on Yokohama and what contingency plans World Rugby have up their sleeve if that game was in danger.

The default position if a game could not be held would be a scoreless draw and the awarding of two points to each country. In that case Japan would win the pool, Ireland would finish second and Scotland would go home.

It is more probable though that World Rugby would move any fixture under threat, despite the potential disruption to fans. This would be the desired outcome for the credibility of the tournament.

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