Rugby World Cup 2019, Pool A: Further concerns arise as Ireland prepare for final pool match against Samoa
Ireland v Samoa is set to go ahead in the Rugby World Cup after fears arose that the host city of Fukuoka would be hit by the super typhoon on course to reach Japan this weekend.
The Japan Meteorological Agency has declared that Typhoon Hagibis will swoop past the southern island of Kyushu and head straight for the Kanto area.
England v France and New Zealand v Italy were both scheduled to take place in the tropical storm’s path of destruction and have been cancelled as a result. The Irish have, however, voiced concerns regarding the condition of the pitch at the Hakatanomori Stadium. It seems that the turf was due for relaying and the Irish players who visited the venue on Friday were able bury an entire rugby ball under the surface.There have been statements from World Rugby reassuring the state of the pitch in Fukuoka.
The match itself has critical implications for Joe Schmidt’s men. A victory for them will ensure their progression to the quarters, whilst a BP win will go a long way to securing their first-place finish in Pool A. Samoa, meanwhile, are playing for pride and are unable to move above second-place Scotland, even with a BP win. That said, the Pacific Islanders will want to go out with a bang and are likely to take a physical game to the Irish.
The other match in Pool A is also in doubt. Japan v Scotland is scheduled to take place on Sunday evening at Yokohama Stadium. An announcement will be made on Sunday morning to determine whether it will be played or cancelled.
Should it be cancelled then both sides receive two points. In that case, should Ireland win against Samoa then they will proceed to the quarter-finals, with Scotland being eliminated and Japan finishing 1st.
Should Scotland beat Japan then Ireland will jump to the top of Pool A and set up a quarter final with South Africa. Second place will face tournament favorites New Zealand.