Rugby World Cup 2019: Japan make history as fearsome All Blacks march on – the pool stage in numbers

By Sports Desk October 14, 2019

The Rugby World Cup is headed for the knockout rounds after a dramatic pool stage in which Scotland were the biggest casualties.

Eight teams remain from 20, with hosts Japan – who have four wins from four – progressing as winners of Pool A after defeating Gregor Townsend's men on Sunday.

Japan also stunned Ireland in the same group, but Joe Schmidt's side progressed into the quarters in second.

In Pool B, two-time defending champions New Zealand finished top, with an impressive South Africa side behind them. Italy were frustrated as the impact of Typhoon Hagibis ended their slim chances of progression.

Meanwhile, England topped Pool C with France in second place, with Wales and Australia completing the last-eight line-up.

Using Opta data, we look back at an enthralling tournament so far.

Pool A – Japan, Ireland, Scotland, Tonga, Russia

1 – Japan are into the knockout stage of a World Cup for the first time in their history, becoming the first non-tier one side to do so since Fiji in 2007.

5 – Kirill Golosnitskiy's scored in the fifth minute of the opening match as Russia took the lead against Japan. It is the quickest ever try in a World Cup opener.

2 – Scotland have failed to make it out of the pool stages of the Rugby World Cup for just the second time, after also doing so in 2011.

90 – Rob Kearney crossed for a try after just 90 seconds against Russia, Ireland's fastest World Cup try and the fastest of the tournament so far.

48 – Japan's Yu Tamura has scored 48 points so far, more than any other player. All of his points have come with the boot – 10 penalties and nine conversions.

Pool B – New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Namibia, Canada

4 – Canada had Josh Larsen sent off versus South Africa and have had four players dismissed in the history of the World Cup, more than any other side. There have been seven dismissals so far this tournament – four was the previous highest total in both 1995 and 1999.

17 – New Zealand have won their last 17 World Cup matches, the longest run by any side in the tournament's history.

21 – Against Canada, South Africa's Cobus Reinach scored the earliest hat-trick in a World Cup match, crossing for his third try in the 21st minute.

142 – After featuring against South Africa, Italy captain Sergio Parisse surpassed Brian O'Driscoll (141) to become the outright second-most capped player in Test rugby history behind Richie McCaw, who played 148 times.

Pool C – England, France, Argentina, Tonga, USA

20 – Against Argentina, Romain Ntamack, aged 20 years and 143 days, became the youngest player to feature for France in a World Cup match.

88 – Agustin Creevy won his 88th cap for Argentina when he played against England, overtaking Felipe Contepomi as Los Puma's most capped player.

6 – George Ford has been involved in six tries for England, more than any other player, scoring two and providing a tournament-high four assists.

Pool D – Wales, Australia, Fiji, Georgia, Uruguay

62 – Fiji's Semi Radradra topped the charts for carries (62), metres (400) and defenders beaten (29) in the pool stage.

94 – James Slipper scored his first try for Australia in his 94th Test when the Wallabies faced Uruguay. No player from any nation has played more matches before scoring their first try.

130 – By playing in Wales' win over Australia, Alun Wyn Jones overtook Gethin Jenkins (129) as the most capped Welshman, going on to make his 131st appearance against Fiji.

35 – At the age of 35 years and 186 days, Adam Ashley-Cooper is the oldest Australia player to make a World Cup appearance. He subsequently became their oldest try scorer in World Cup history, and their oldest in any match since 1966.

100 – Warren Gatland's side have won 100 per cent of their matches so far. It is the first time Wales have won all of their pool games since 1987.

Related items

  • Starc stars for depleted Australia attack as Black Caps crumble to emphatic defeat Starc stars for depleted Australia attack as Black Caps crumble to emphatic defeat

    Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon wrapped up a dominant victory for Australia as they took a 1-0 lead in the three-match Test series with New Zealand, who crumbled to defeat by 296 runs.

    The hosts controlled every facet of a hugely one-sided affair in Perth and went into day four of the day-night Test with a lead of 417.

    Australia stretched that advantage to 467 before declaring, allowing Starc and Lyon to help orchestrate another batting collapse from the Black Caps.

    Starc took five wickets as New Zealand were dismissed for 166 in the first innings, and he took his figures for the match to 9-97 with an instrumental performance, while Lyon claimed the key wicket of Kane Williamson in his 4-63.

    Attention now turns to the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where New Zealand will need to rediscover the form with the bat they displayed in the recent series win over England to keep their hopes alive.

    With no pressure on the Australia batsmen, wickets fell in short order and a declaration from Tim Paine arrived in the morning session on 217-9.

    That swift decision paid dividends as New Zealand were two down by lunch, Jeet Raval's recent struggles continuing as he jabbed Starc to Lyon at point before Williamson was undone by the turn of Lyon and gloved to Matthew Wade.

    Ross Taylor (22) and Tom Latham (18) provided a brief period of stability that was ended when they each went in the space of five balls. Taylor was caught behind off Starc trying to pull and Latham was given out lbw on review as Lyon struck him plumb on the pads.

    Making up superbly for the absence of the injured Josh Hazlewood, Starc and Lyon continued to trade wickets. The spinner accounted for Henry Nicholls (21) to end his useful partnership of 41 with BJ Watling (40), who gloved man of the match Starc down leg, those dismissals separated by Pat Cummins getting in on the act to remove Colin de Grandhomme (33).

    De Grandhomme and Watling had produced the most sustained show of defiance in their stand of 56, but the Black Caps' resistance was fleeting thereafter, as Starc and Cummins attacked the tail with a hostile approach built around the short ball.

    Mitchell Santner, a centurion against England last month, went for a duck to Cummins, before Starc and Lyon removed Neil Wagner and Tim Southee respectively to round off a rout and leave New Zealand wondering how they can turn things around and claim a first series win in Australia since 1985.

  • Presidents Cup 2019: Friday the 13th lucky enough for the USA as class shows Presidents Cup 2019: Friday the 13th lucky enough for the USA as class shows

    Friday the 13th appeared to be shaping as the beginning of the end of the United States' Presidents Cup dominance. Two days later, their class came to the fore.

    Trailing the Internationals 4-1 at Royal Melbourne Golf Club following the opening day's four-ball contests, the USA found themselves behind in every foursomes matchup on Friday.

    They were facing a staggering 9-1 deficit before the momentum swung and the session was somehow split thanks to clutch putts from Justin Thomas and Patrick Cantlay.

    The USA's 6.5 - 3.5 deficit became 9-5 after Saturday morning's four-ball, but with the talent in their team, they could always look ahead to 12 singles matchups.

    Thomas and Rickie Fowler may have coughed up a 5up lead in the foursomes later on Saturday, but the USA were back to within 10-8 and in position for an eighth straight title.

    Playing captain Tiger Woods had taken the risk of not playing himself on Saturday despite two wins on the opening two days.

    That gamble paid off, the show of faith in his team – and his ability to lead by example on a decisive day – proving crucial.

    The USA grabbed a record-equalling eight points in the singles, Woods' 3 and 2 win over Abraham Ancer – the Internationals' best player of the week – setting the tone.

    Of the 12 singles matches, the USA had a higher ranked player in 11. The other was world number 24 Matt Kuchar, who halved his match with the 20th-ranked Louis Oosthuizen.

    Internationals captain Ernie Els appeared to accept some responsibility for the defeat despite being proud of his team, but his work on the opening days helped set up what would have been a major upset.

    His team led 10-8 after his pairings, but the USA's class eventually prevailed in the singles.

    The Internationals were left with a sense of what might have been, given the position they worked so hard to put themselves in.

    Royal Melbourne was the scene of their only Presidents Cup triumph 21 years ago, and it seemed set to be where the drought would be broken.

    But just as Friday the 13th looked set to be unlucky for the USA, it proved to be for the Internationals, Woods and his team showing their class exactly when they needed to.

  • Presidents Cup 2019: Tiger's record in numbers Presidents Cup 2019: Tiger's record in numbers

    Tiger Woods made more history by breaking a record at the Presidents Cup on Sunday.

    The 15-time major champion surpassed Phil Mickelson for most match wins in the tournament's history with his 27th.

    Woods proved too good for Abraham Ancer 3 and 2 at Royal Melbourne Golf Club as the United States neared a comeback win over the Internationals.

    We take a look at some of his numbers at the Presidents Cup.

    27 - Woods has 27 match wins, surpassing Mickelson's mark of 26.

    12 - Of his wins, 12 have come in the foursomes format, with eight in the four-ball and seven in the singles.

    7 - His seven singles wins is also a record.

    15 - Woods has suffered 15 defeats in his Presidents Cup career.

    2 - He will finish the 2019 Presidents Cup with a 3-0-0 record, marking just the second time he has gone undefeated, having also done so in 2009 when he went 5-0-0.

    1998 - Woods' first Presidents Cup victory came 21 years ago, when he combined with Fred Couples for a 5 and 4 foursomes win over Ernie Els and Vijay Singh.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.