Rugby

What Ireland Need To Do To Qualify For Rugby World Cup Quarter-Finals

What Ireland Need To Do To Qualify For Rugby World Cup Quarter-Finals

Despite losing to Japan in their second game of the Rugby World Cup pool stage, Ireland still have a strong chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals.

If Ireland emerge from Pool A, either New Zealand or South Africa await in the last eight depending on whether Joe Schmidt's side finish as pool winners or runners-up.

There are two remaining games in Pool A:

Ireland vs Samoa - October 12th
Japan vs Scotland - October 13th

Rugby World Cup Pool A standings

Rugby World Cup Pool A permutations
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Situation one: Japan beat Scotland

- Japan progress to quarter-finals as Pool A winners.

- A win for Ireland against Samoa will take them through to the quarter-finals as Pool A runners-up.

Situation two: Scotland beat Japan

- A win for Scotland against Japan, in which they deny their opponents a losing bonus point, would take them through to the quarter-finals with 14 points via the head-to-head tiebreaker.

- If Japan get a losing bonus point, Scotland will require a winning bonus point, leaving the two sides level on 15 points each. Scotland would go through on the head-to-head tiebreaker.

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- If Japan get two losing bonus points against Scotland (by losing by seven points or fewer and scoring four or more tries), they would finish on 16 points and go through as Pool A winners. Scotland would be eliminated if Ireland beat Samoa.

- In situation two, a bonus point win for Ireland against Samoa would take them through as Pool A winners with 16 points if Japan do not get a losing bonus point or just a single losing bonus point against Scotland.

- If Japan get two losing bonus points against Scotland, a victory for Ireland, with or without a winning bonus point, would see them finish as runners-up in Pool A.

- If Japan get a single losing bonus point, Scotland get a winning bonus point and Ireland do not get a winning bonus point against Samoa, the three sides will all be tied on 15 points. The top spot of the group will then be decided on points difference.

Scotland, at +71 are now ahead of Ireland (+52) and Japan (+46). If this remains the case after the final pool game, Scotland qualify in first but second and third is decided by head-to-head. So Japan would go ahead of Ireland.

Situation three: Japan and Scotland draw

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- In this situation, Japan would finish the pool as winners with 16 points, even if Ireland get a bonus point win against Samoa. Japan would rank ahead of Ireland on the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Situation four: Ireland lose to Samoa

- Ireland could still qualify for the quarter-finals even if they lose to Samoa. If Scotland lose to Japan without taking losing bonus point, Ireland would go through with 11 points and the Scots on 10.

- If Scotland and Ireland finish level on points, Ireland would go through on the head-to-head tiebreaker. That could happen in a number of situations which includes both Scotland losing to and drawing with Japan.

Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

See Also: Stephen Ferris Believes Joe Schmidt Is Responsible For Ireland's Lack Of Dynamism

PJ Browne
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