The Updated Pool A Permutations Following Ireland’s Shock Defeat To Japan

The Shizuoka shocker.

Pool A was blown wide open at the Rugby World Cup yesterday morning after Japan shocked Ireland with a 19-12 win at Shizuoka Stadium.

Ireland were expected to cruise through the pool following their bonus-point win over Scotland in the opening round, setting up a likely quarter-final against the Springboks. But Japan had other ideas.

So what now? Well Ireland can still top the group with the first priority being two bonus-point wins against Russia and Samoa in their remaining pool fixtures. This will give Ireland another 10 points for a final tally of 16 points.

Two victories for Japan over Samoa and Scotland without any bonus points would give them 17 points to top the pool. So it goes without saying – Ireland need the Scots to do them a favour against Japan.

And Scotland will have it all to play for if they manage to get BP wins against Samoa and Russia. If they beat Japan after securing the full 10 points – the hosts would be out of the tournament on head-to-head.

Scotland though, can’t knock Ireland out if Joe Schmidt’s side get two BP wins as they can only get to 15 points in total. The worst-case scenario for Ireland is they fail to get maximum points in their final two fixtures, leaving them open to being knocked out by Scotland and Japan.

In that case, they would once again rely on the Scots beating Japan to qualify for a quarter-final.

Pool A – Results and Fixtures

Fri 20 Sep, Japan 30-10 Russia (Tokyo)

Sun 22 Sep, Ireland 27-3 Scotland (Yokohama)

Tue 24 Sep, Russia 9-34 Samoa (Kumagaya)

Sat 28 Sep, Japan 19-12 Ireland (Shizuoka)

Mon 30 Sep, Scotland v Samoa (Kobe), 11.15am

Thu 3 Oct, Ireland v Russia (Kobe), 11.15am

Sat 5 Oct, Japan v Samoa (Toyota), 11.30am

Wed 9 Oct, Scotland v Russia (Shizuoka), 8.15am

Sat 12 Oct, Ireland v Samoa (Fukuoka), 11.45am

Sun 13 Oct, Japan v Scotland (Yokohama), 11.45am