TOKYO (AP)The Latest on Day 19 at the Rugby World Cup (all times local):
South Africa demolished 14-man Canada team 66-7 to pretty much confirm its place in the quarterfinals.
The Springboks scored 10 tries and had four tries and a bonus point in a whirlwind first 17 minutes at Kobe Misaki Stadium.
Canada was 40-0 down when replacement lock Josh Larsen was the sixth man sent off at the tournament, this time for a shoulder charge to the neck of South Africa’s Thomas du Toit at a ruck just before halftime.
Strangely, facing what threatened to be the biggest beating of the World Cup so far, the red card seemed to lift Canada for a period.
The Canadians were conceding far worse than a point a minute for the first 30 minutes and 47-0 behind at halftime. But they scored their one try early in the second half when it was 14 vs. 15. They also kept the Springboks scoreless for 15 minutes after the break while a man down.
Scrumhalf Cobus Reinach had a hat trick in the opening 20 minutes for the Boks. They added just three tries in the second to their seven tries in the first half, underlining the gutsy work by Canada after losing Larsen.
The biggest cheer was for Canada flanker Matt Heaton when he drove over in the 45th to make his first test try one against the two-time World Cup champions.
The course of Typhoon Hagibis heading toward Japan has changed and World Rugby warns that it could hit the Tokyo area on Saturday instead of the southern island of Kyushu.
If so, the high winds and heavy rain expected could impact the England-France match in nearby Yokohama.
”While we have robust contingency plans in place for pool matches, such plans, if required, will only be actioned if the safety of teams, fans, and workforce can be guaranteed,” World Rugby said in a statement. ”It would be inappropriate to comment on any contingency plans at this stage.”
The governing body said it will provide an update on Wednesday.
South Africa’s backs are running riot in Kobe to lead 14-man Canada 47-0 at halftime.
Scrumhalf Cobus Reinach has a hat trick among South Africa’s seven first-half tries, and the Springboks are on course to get the highest score of the Rugby World Cup in Japan. New Zealand beat Namibia 71-9 on Sunday, also in Pool B, for the highest score so far.
Canada’s Josh Larsen was sent off for a shoulder charge to the neck of South Africa’s Thomas du Toit at a ruck five minutes before halftime. Canada was 40-0 down at the time and faces a grim last 40 minutes.
Larsen’s was the sixth red card of this Rugby World Cup, which was already the worst for reds in tournament history.
South Africa’s first try through center Damian de Allende arrived in the third minute. The two-time champions had their bonus-point fourth try in 17 minutes. It was 40-0 after 29 minutes.
Reinach’s third was the pick of the tries. Elton Jantjies dropped a crosskick over Canada’s backline from inside his 22, wing Warrick Gelant caught it and broke, and fed de Allende who found Reinach to finish between the posts.
Canada had one good attack in the half and the fans roared them on. But wing DTH van der Merwe couldn’t hold on to a crosskick in the corner when a try was up for grabs.
Frans Steyn scored right on halftime for South Africa’s seventh when Canada scrumhalf Phil Mack threw a pass right to him on the Canadian line. All the Springboks tries came through the backline.
South Africa and Canada have kicked off at Kobe Misaki Stadium in the last pool game for the Springboks.
A bonus-point win should clinch a quarterfinal place for South Africa, unless Italy upsets defending champion New Zealand on Saturday and both of those teams get a bonus point in the process. That would leave all three teams on 15 points and points difference would decide who qualifies for the quarters.
The scenario is unlikely considering New Zealand’s early form in Japan.
The Springboks have rested many of their first-choice players for Canada, with captain Siya Kolisi and center Damian de Allende the only ones to start again after the 49-3 win over Italy.
Canada has two games left, this one in Kobe and then against Namibia to try for its first win at the World Cup since 2011.
This is the tournament’s last game at Kobe Misaki Stadium.
Fiji coach John McKee sees some favorable signs ahead of Wednesday’s must-win match against Wales.
Fiji must beat the Welsh lineup to maintain its slender chance of reaching the quarterfinals, while the Six Nations champion needs a win to reach the last eight.
The odds might be stacked against his team but McKee sounds hopeful that the Oita Dome, and the weather, will be favorable to Fiji’s famed running game.
”It’s a very good stadium here. A hard and fast pitch, which we like,” he said. ”It is noticeable that the edge has dropped off the temperature and is a little less humid. It will be good for the game.”
Fiji beat Wales at the 2007 World Cup in a stunning upset which led to Wales’ coach getting fired. So McKee knows what will happen back home if Fiji manages another World Cup coup.
There will simply be no point going to work, or even bothering to do anything else but party.
”A victory for the Flying Fijians tomorrow would literally stop the nation for the next couple of days as everyone celebrates,” said McKee, who is a New Zealander. ”Fijians are amazingly passionate about their rugby and their national team.”
Having faced them as an impressionable teen, Wales back-rower Ross Moriarty is determined to make a big impression against Fiji in Wednesday’s Pool D match.
Moriarty said it was a ”bit an eye opener” as an 18-year-old playing for Gloucester’s A team when it faced the flying Fijians seven years ago.
”To be on this stage now makes it even bigger and I’m excited to get out on the pitch, get a start, and show everyone what I can do,” said Moriarty, who starts his first game at this World Cup after being on the bench in wins against Georgia and two-time champion Australia. ”Obviously I’ve been disappointed not to get the starts, but nonetheless this is a World Cup and it’s great to be involved and to come off the bench and get some minutes to contribute.”
The battle with Fiji’s imposing forwards is expected to have a large bearing on the outcome at the Oita Dome, where a win will move Wales into the quarterfinals.
”We know it’s going to be tough. We’ve been working hard in the last week and we’ve done our analysis,” said Moriarty, who is set to win his 35th test cap. ”We know they have some great individuals, but so do we and we’re just going to make sure we put everything out there and do the job.”
New Zealand loose forward Ardie Savea is having issues with his goggles but will keep trying to play with them.
Savea became the first player to wear goggles in a Rugby World Cup last Wednesday against Canada. He wore them for only minutes though because the strap broke.
He didn’t wear them when he started against Namibia on Sunday because in the warmup they fogged up in the humidity.
Savea says he will persist with them because he needs to. The vision in his left eye is failing – his sight is already blurry – and he needs the goggles to protect his right eye so he can reduce the risk of going totally blind.
”I’ll keep training in them, and if they’re working, they’re working,” he says. ”But it’s hard with the conditions. If they’re not working on game day, I’ll park it up, but if they are, sweet.”
France must iron out its inconsistencies at the Rugby World Cup before facing England in their table-topping Pool C decider on Saturday.
That’s the view of scrumhalf Antoine Dupont, who has highlighted where the French lineup has made its most errors in the three group games so far.
”There are a few things to look at,” Dupont said. ”The problems persist. We made handling errors and the set-pieces were not always reliable.”
France led comfortably against Argentina, the United States, and Tonga before getting reeled back in each game.
”We missed the control that would have allowed us to be more comfortable, but we were never in real trouble or very worried,” Dupont said. ”Our defense was strong. We are still in a good place overall.”
England tops the group by two points because it leads France 3-1 in bonus points.
When the sides last met, England routed France 44-8 in the Six Nations.
But Dupont hopes the fact France is already qualified takes some of the stress away, and the Tricolors will therefore play more freely on Saturday at Yokohama.
”We can measure ourselves against one of the best teams in the world without having to worry about qualification,” Dupont said. ”It’s always a good test. After the pool phase there is no good draw, there are only big teams left.”
Australia has made 10 changes to the starting lineup that beat Uruguay last weekend for its last Pool D match against Georgia on Friday in Shizuoka.
A win will secure the Wallabies a quarterfinals spot.
Flanker Jack Dempsey is the only player to retain his place in the forwards. David Pocock is captain.
Halves Nic White and Matt To’omua, wing Jordan Petaia and fullback Kurtley Beale also return. To’omua switches from inside center to flyhalf and Petaia moves from left to right wing.
White and To’omua have never previously played together at 9 and 10 for Australia. They are the 11th halves combination for the Wallabies since the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
The front row of Scott Sio, Tolu Latu, and Sekope Kepu started together only once previously, last November in the 37-18 loss to England.
Australia: Kurtley Beale, Jordan Petaia, James O’Connor, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Matt To’omua, Nic White; Isi Naisarani, David Pocock (captain), Jack Dempsey, Rory Arnold, Izack Rodda, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Scott Sio. Reserves: Jordan Uelese, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Adam Coleman, Michael Hooper, Will Genia, Christian Lealiifano, Dane Haylett-Petty.
Two-time champion South Africa seeks a bonus-point win at the expense of Canada to be certain of advancing to the quarterfinals in the only Rugby World Cup match on Tuesday.
The teams meet indoors in Kobe’s Misaki Stadium, and both teams are wary of controlling possession. All three previous games in Kobe – England-United States, Scotland-Samoa, Ireland-Russia – have suffered from more than 30 handling errors each in humid conditions. But the Tier One side has won each time.
The Springboks have rebounded from their opening loss to New Zealand by beating Namibia 57-3 and 14-man Italy 49-3, and expect their second-string team to manage Canada.
The Canadians have lost to Italy 48-7 and to New Zealand 63-0, and are building to a last Pool B match against Namibia this weekend.
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