This year’s Rugby World Cup has proven perhaps the most dramatic in the tournament’s history. From sensational victories over Ireland and Scotland from hosts Japan to cancelled matches as a result of Typhoon Hagibis and a series of epic encounters, the pool stages have had almost everything.
The Japanese have been utterly thrilling, and the fact they won all of their group matches with bonus points has shown exactly how much the game has progressed in the country, four years after their shock defeat of South Africa in Brighton.
Victory over Ireland was another one of those shocks in that the Irish had come into the competition as the number one ranked side. But strangely, it was not as unexpected as, say, Uruguay’s win over Fiji in Pool D.
Japan’s relentlessness in the second half against Ireland and the crucial late bonus point try against Samoa was ultimately what put them in a position to qualify for the quarter finals for the first time.
Which is why their victories against Ireland and Scotland, their first back-to-back wins over Tier 1 nations, are featured in World Rugby’s Top 5: Incredible pool matches at Rugby World Cup 2019.
Uruguay’s win over Fiji is also featured, as is Wales’ first win against Australia at a World Cup since the inaugural tournament in 1987. The other match included was France’s nervy opening weekend triumph over Argentina.
And while the pool stages are over, despite the turmoil of a Typhoon, it is safe to say that Japan has already proven one of the most dedicated and popular tournaments to date. RWC Daily also put together 12 of the things which made the group phase what it was.
If the knock-out stages are anything like the preliminary rounds, we’re in for an epic conclusion to Rugby World Cup 2019.