While France's 33-9 victory over the USA today brought plenty of entertainment, there was one concern as once again at this tournament Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium’s pitch rapidly deteriorated.
USA were within touching distance right up until the hour mark before Gaël Fickou pushed France into an unassailable lead but viewers and players were both highly critical of the field's condition over the course of the game.
67: TRY France!
Finally Gael Fickou breaks through the American resistance to make it a little more comfortable for France.
— eir Sport (@eirSport) October 2, 2019
Worryingly, it is the same venue that will host Ireland's final World Cup pool game against Samoa. That fixture is set for October 12.
During the course of today's clash, the grass consistently cut up while a strip had to be replaced.
Very hot and sticky here in Fukuoka - 4.30pm and my phone reckons it's 28 degrees, "Feels like" 31 and with 65% humidity. Light rain falling too.
Also on the far side they've replaced about a 12m strip of turf - and the refs might have to move scrums.#RWC2019 #FRAvUSA
— Will Kelleher (@willgkelleher) October 2, 2019
#XVdeFrance 7-0 #USARugby 16mins The scrum has to be reset twice before the USA come away with the scrum penalty; the delay is because this is THAT pitch - cuts up horribly with every stud that penetrates it 🙄 #RWC2019 #FRAvUSA #Rugby
— RugbyUnplugged.com (@RugbyUnplugged) October 2, 2019
If you are World Rugby, you don't really want Ireland and Samoa running full tilt at each other on a pitch that rips like rice paper, do you?
— Alan Dymock (@AlanDymock) October 2, 2019
Per Rugby World, France prop Cyril Baille was not impressed by the surface.
It was very tough, very difficult. When scrummaging the ground would come up, it wasn’t firm, and it was hard when trying to push.
As for the result itself, France now lie in second place on nine points after two Pool C games. They take on Tonga next week before finishing the group stages against England.