South Africa reaches semis
ay against Ireland, while England take on Australia in Saturday’s quarter-final matches.
Typhoon Hagibis affects matches
Organisers of the Rugby World Cup deemed the risk from Typhoon Hagibis so high that they cancelled matches for the first time in the tournament’s 32-year history.
With the huge storm set to potentially devastate parts of Japan, Italy’s game against New Zealand in Toyota and England’s match against France in Yokohama on Saturday have been cancelled while Japan’s game against Scotland on Sunday is also in doubt.
The host nation would advance to the quarter-finals for the first time if their game in Yokohama is called off.
“While making every possible effort to put in place a contingency plan that would enable all of Saturday’s matches to be played, it would be grossly irresponsible to leave teams, fans, volunteers and other tournament personnel exposed during what is predicted to be a severe typhoon,” said tournament director Alan Gilpin.
“We fully appreciate that England, France, New Zealand and Italy fans will be disappointed, but we trust they will appreciate that their safety must come first.”
Super Typhoon Hagibis is heading north toward Japan’s main island and could make landfall on Saturday, with torrential rain, high winds, storm surges and high waves expected.
As it stands, New Zealand will finish top of Pool B with South Africa going through as runners up.
South Africa vs Canada
South Africa celebrated their 500th test by storming into the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals with a 66-7 victory over Canada on Tuesday.
The Springboks ran in six tries in the first half hour at Kobe Misaki Stadium, and Canada’s woes deepened a couple of minutes before halftime when replacement lock Josh Larsen was shown a red card for an illegal shoulder charge at a ruck.
The Boks had wrapped up the bonus-point they needed to secure their quarter-final berth by the 18th minute, with the best of those tries coming from Reinach as he picked up the ball at the base of a ruck inside the Bok 22 and scythed through a gap in the defence.
The Boks will find out who they face in the quarter-finals on Sunday.
Ticket target hit
Rugby World Cup organisers announced on Friday they had hit their target of selling 1.8 million tickets during the tournament.
Despite fears that crowds might be sparse in Japan, not a traditional rugby nation, fans have turned out in their droves, packing stadiums even for games not involving tournament heavyweights.
World Rugby chief Bill Beaumont said the tournament had “captured the hearts and minds of a nation and the global rugby family” and congratulated the Japanese organised for hitting their milestone.
There are now a “limited” number of tickets available on the official ticketing website, as sponsors and nations hand back some seats, organisers said.
“While tickets remain available, our advice to fans is to only buy through official channels to avoid being disappointed,” said Beaumont.
Ticket prices vary widely, from 100,000 yen ($936) for the best seats at the final, to 2,000 yen for the cheapest entry to the pool game between USA v Tonga.
Source: African News