World Rugby is monitoring a typhoon that could hit Japan on Saturday and stop Ireland’s Rugby World Cup campaign in its tracks.
Typhoon Hagibis has formed in the Western Pacific Ocean off the south coast of Japan, with forecasts suggesting it could hit the island of Kyushu this weekend.
Ireland face Samoa in the Kyushu city of Fukuoka on Saturday, where Joe Schmidt’s men need a bonus-point victory to seal a place in the quarter-finals.
Any games cancelled at the World Cup due to weather problems are registered as scoreless draws.
That scenario would allow Scotland the chance to leapfrog Ireland into second place, should Gregor Townsend’s men see off both Russia on Wednesday and hosts Japan on Sunday.
Previous predictions of typhoons hitting Japan and disrupting the tournament have so far proved wide of the mark.
Typhoon Mitag had threatened France’s clash with the USA in Fukuoka last week, but the match was completed without issue.
World Rugby is monitoring the situation and will issue further updates as the situation develops.
“We are currently monitoring the development of a typhoon off the south coast of Japan in partnership with our weather information experts,” said a World Rugby spokesman.
“It is still too early to determine what, if any, impact there will be on match or training activities.”
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France secured their place in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals with a 23-21 victory over Tonga at the Kumamoto Stadium.
France will now face a shootout with England next Saturday to determine who will finish top of Pool C.
Virimi Vakatawa and Alivereti Raka went over for tries for France, with Romain Ntamack booting 13 points. Sonatane Takulua, Malietoa Hingano and Zane Kapeli scored the Tonga tries.
Ntamack kicked France into an early lead after Tonga were penalised for offside.
And two minutes later they went over for the opening try when they turned the ball over in their own half before advancing forward and working it wide to Raka, who sent centre Vakatawa in for the score.
Ntamack converted and then missed another shot at goal before France went in for a second try.
Scrum-half Baptiste Serin took a quick tap penalty and fed Raka and he kicked the ball ahead, collected and touched down, with Ntamack converting from out wide to put France 17-0 up.
Tonga got back into the game shortly before the interval with the help of the TMO after Takulua was judged to have grounded the ball amid some fierce French defence.
France thought they had a third try from flanker Charles Ollivon but the crucial pass from Sebastien Vahaamahina was forward.
And Tonga went straight up the other end and got a try of their own through Hingano.
Cooper Vuna’s kick ahead bounced kindly into the hands of Hingano, who gathered and powered over the line and Takulua’s conversion brought them within three points at 17-14.
Ntamack then booted another two penalties to give France some breathing space heading into the final 20 minutes.
Damian Penaud had a try disallowed by the TMO for France after Maxime Medard knocked on in the build-up.
Tonga got a third try right at the death when referee Nic Berry played a penalty advantage and Latiume Fosita kicked wide for flanker Kapeli to gather and score in the corner.
Fosita added the extras but Tonga could not gather the ball from the kick-off and France held on for the victory.
New Zealand’s power and class eventually shone through as they wore down brave Namibia 71-9 in Tokyo to make it three straight wins at the Rugby World Cup.
Namibia battled and matched the All Blacks early on and New Zealand led only 10-9 after half an hour before stepping up their game to break clear and run in 11 tries as they won the last 50 minutes 61-0.
Sevu Reece, Anton Lienert-Brown and Ben Smith all crossed for a pair of tries, with Angus Ta’ava, Joe Moody, Sam Whitelock, Jordie Barrett and TJ Perenara also touching down.
Barrett added eight conversions for a personal haul of 21 points.
Damian Stevens kicked Namibia into an early lead with a penalty for hands in the ruck before New Zealand scored their first try after five minutes.
Barrett’s cross-field kick was collected by Reece to go in on the right and they went over again midway through the half through Lienert-Brown, who stretched clear of the Namibian defence to touch down.
The Welwitschias continued to battle and compete with the All Blacks and came back to within a point through a pair of Stevens penalties.
New Zealand were reduced to 14 men when prop Nepo Laulala was sent to the sin-bin after making contact with the head of JC Greyling in the tackle.
Prop Ta’avao went over under the posts for his first Test try with Barrett converting.
Some incredible stats for Anton Lienert-Brown who wins the @mastercard Player of the Match for #NZLvNAM— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 6, 2019
➡️106 metres gained
➡️Two clean breaks
➡️Nine Defenders (Most)#RWC2019 #StartSomethingPriceless #POTM pic.twitter.com/8K2RxPnuSy
The bonus point was secured when Smith powered over after a dominating scrum when Jack Goodhue popped the ball up to him to send the All Blacks into the break with a 24-9 lead.
New Zealand broke the game open after the interval with seven more tries.
Moody went over on the right after another dominant scrum and Barrett sent over his third conversion.
Lienert-Brown claimed his second try of the game after Barrett weaved his way through a series of Namibian tackles and spun the ball wide for him to touch down.
Reece capped a textbook All Blacks move as they spun the ball wide for the speedy winger to go in.
Captain Whitelock then made it four tries in 16 minutes since half-time when he scored at the base of the upright from another powerful forward surge.
Smith went over for his second try of the game 13 minutes from the end as quick hands kept the ball alive and the full-back crashed over in the corner.
Ofa Tuungafasi became the second New Zealander to be sent to the sin-bin eight minutes from time for a swinging arm to the head in the tackle.
Barrett crossed for the 10th try as New Zealand surged forward after a lineout before Perenara wrapped it up with a stunning effort after picking up a behind the back pass from Brad Weber and surging through three tackles to brilliantly touch down in the corner.