The 2019 Rugby World Cup kicked off at Tokyo Stadium on the 20th of September with Japan beating Russia 30-10 despite Russia’s try and conversion within the first 5 minutes of the match. Japan’s Matsushima then scored a hat-trick of tries, two before half-time and the third in the 68th minute, ensuring an excellent start to the World Cup for the home nation.
Then came the first of three matches on September the 21st with Australia beating Fiji 39-21 in Sapporo Dome, despite Fiji’s try and penalty in the first ten minutes of the match. But Australia having 72% possession gave them the edge they needed to win the match. The next match of the day was France v Argentina in Tokyo Stadium. This close match had France dominating the first half and going into half-time 20-3. Argentina managed to gain 18 points in the last half hour of the match, but France’s drop goal in the 69th minute gave them the win. The third and final match of the day saw New Zealand beat South Africa in the first Pool B match 23-13 at the International Stadium Yokohama.
The first match on September 22nd saw Italy beating Namibia 47-22. Despite Namibia’s impressive three tries, Italy’s seven meant that they began their World Cup with a massive win. The second match saw Ireland beat Scotland 27-3 in a four-try defeat that gave Ireland an impressive start to the World cup with their bonus-point win. The final match of the day saw England beat Tonga 35-3 at Sapporo Dome. This bonus-point win, thanks in part to players Farrell and Tuilagi, gave England the points they needed to make a great first impression in the World Cup.
On the 23rd of September Wales played their first match in the world cup, beating Georgia 43-13 and scoring six tries at Toyota Stadium. With Davies scoring Wales their first try within the first two minutes of the match, the 43-13 defeat is unsurprising, but none the less an excellent start to the World Cup for the Welsh Team.
Tuesday September the 24th saw Samoa beat Russia 34-9 in a six try, bonus-point wining match that saw Russia given a yellow card and Samoa given two for dangerous tackles. This was Russia’s second loss of the tournament, putting them low on the leaderboards so far.
Wednesday the 25th September brought a close match between Fiji and Uruguay at Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium with Uruguay snatching the win at 27-30. This marks the third time in a Rugby World Cup that a team lost even though they had scored two more tries than their opponent and Uruguay’s first win for 16 years in a World Cup match. This surprising win for Uruguay makes them more of a contender in the World Cup than was expected.
Thursday 26th September had two matches, both unsurprising but nonetheless impressive defeats of Canada by Italy 48-7 and of the USA by England 45-7. Italy’s win by 41 points is the greatest win of the World Cup so far with seven tries to Canada’s single one, mirrored by England’s seven tries to the USA’s single one later in the day. England’s defeat of the USA was the second match of the World Cup for England and their second win, proving that their excellent start to the competition was not a fluke.
Argentina and Tonga both had their second matches of the World Cup on Saturday September 28th at Hanazono Rugby Stadium, with Argentina defeating Tonga 28-12 thanks in part to Montoya’s hat-trick in the first half of the match, despite their loss to France the week before. The second match of the day saw the surprising defeat of Ireland by home nation Japan 19-12 at Shizuoka Stadium Ecoupa. Despite Ireland’s two tries to Japan’s one, Japan took the lead thanks to four penalties over the course of the match. South Africa beat Namibia in an incredible nine-try defeat 57-3 match at City of Toyota Stadium in the last match of the day.
Sunday 29th September saw Georgia beat Uruguay 33-7 in Uruguay’s third match and second loss of the World Cup. Georgia scored an impressive five tries to Uruguay’s one, reinstating Uruguay’s underdog status and gaining a bonus point for their efforts. Later in the day Wales beat Australia 29-25 at Tokyo Stadium, meaning that they went up to 2nd place in the World ranking, with New Zealand 1st and England 3rd.
With Russia, Scotland, Namibia, Canada, Tonga and the USA yet to score a point on the leaderboards, it will prove interesting to see who qualifies to take part in the Semi-finals that begin on the 19th of October.
On Monday 30th September Scotland won an incredible 34-0 to Samoa, scoring them their first win, and a bonus-point win at that! With two tries within the first half, Scotland looked unbeatable and proved this in the second half by securing their win.
Wednesday October 2nd saw France unsurprisingly beat USA 33-9 with five tries to none at Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium. The second game of the day saw another unsurprising win, with New Zealand beating Canada 63-0, the greatest win of the world cup so far, and another game that set up New Zealand as a formidable force in this competition.
Thursday the 3rd of October saw Fiji beat Georgia 45-10 and then Ireland beat Russia 35-0, both unsurprising results, but exciting matches nonetheless.
On Friday October 4th South Africa beat Italy 49-3 in a seven-try win, leaving only Canada in their path to the Quarter-final.
Saturday October 5th Saw Australia defeat Uruguay 45-10 in a seven-try win for the team, and a spirited effort from Uruguay that sums up their impressive world cup run and secures Australia’s reputation as a contender for the final matches of the World Cup. The second game of the day saw England beating Argentina 39-10 in a red-card game for Argentina, proving further that England truly deserve to be in the world cup. Then came Japan vs. Samoa, with Japan’s win 38-19 putting another win under the belt of the home nation.
New Zealand v Namibia on Sunday 6th of October saw the All Blacks win 71-9 with an incredible eleven tries to none, again proving that they are the team to beat in this competition. The next game of the day was France v Tonga, this close match saw France scrape their way into the quarter-finals 23-21.
On Tuesday 8th of October South Africa beat Canada 66-7 with the fastest hat-trick in world cup history (within the first 21 minutes) and South Africa qualify for the quarter-finals, knocking out Canada.
Wednesday October 9th had three matches, the first saw Argentina win v USA 47-17 and while both teams are eliminated from the world cup, the match proved to be an exciting watch. Scotland v Russia was the next match of the day and Scotland won 61-0, progressing forward to face Japan to see who would progress into the quarter-finals. The third of the match had Wales beat Fiji 29-17 in a bonus-point winning game that saw Josh Adams score a hat-trick and meant Wales progress into the quarter-finals.
On Friday October 11th Australia beat Georgia 27-8, putting the Wallabies through to the quarter-finals.
Saturday October 12th was supposed to have three matches but the first two were cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis. The only match of the day saw Ireland defeat Samoa 47-5, meaning they qualify for the quarter-finals with a bonus-point win.
The first game of Sunday October 13th was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis also, but the other three matches went as planned. The first saw Tonga beat USA 31-19 in a bonus-point game which was surprisingly exciting considering both teams are low on the leaderboards.
The next game of the day saw Wales defeat Uruguay 35-13, meaning Wales were set to face France in the quarter-finals. The final game saw Japan defeat Scotland 28-21 ensuring the home nation’s place in their first-ever Rugby World Cup quarter-final.
On Saturday October 19th the first quarter-final was played, with England beating Australia 40-16, beating Australia out of the competition and advancing to the Semi-finals. The second game of the day saw New Zealand beat Ireland 46-14 in another show of their strength in this competition, also gaining a spot in the semi-finals.
Sunday October 20th began with Wales beating France in an intense 20-19 match, securing their spot in the semi-finals and ended with South Africa defeating Japan 26-3, cutting short the home nation’s run in the World Cup and qualifying South Africa for the Semi-finals.
The First Semi-final match kicked off at the International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama City on Saturday the 6th of October, with England facing the reigning World Cup winners, New Zealand. This exciting game began with a Try within the first 2 minutes by England’s Manu Tuilagi followed by a Conversion and a Penalty within the first 10 minutes. Both teams successfully protect their own try-lines until half time, ending the first half with the score at 10-0 to England. The second half saw several subs on and off and a missed penalty from England’s Elliot Daly before England’s George Ford scored a Penalty in the 50th minute, adding another 3 points to England’s scoreboard. The next 7 minutes saw even more subs on and off on both sides, with a Try and Conversion from Fiji’s Ardie Savea and Richie Mo’unga, closing the gap between the teams to 13-7. Then came another 2 Penalties from England’s George Ford, ensuring what would be the final score of 19-7 to England in the 69th minute. The next 11 minutes saw the All Blacks and England play well and ensure no points were awarded on either side. Unfortunately the All Blacks did not play well enough, England won by 12 points and the current World Cup Winners 2 years running went home, leaving England to face the winners of the next Semi-final in the final – either Wales or South Africa, in their first defeat of New Zealand in 12 years.
The Second Semi-final match took place at the International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama City on Sunday the 27th of October, with Wales facing South Africa in a match that seemed to repeat the 2015 Rugby World Cup Quarter-final with Wales edged out of the competition by the Springboks once again. This intense game kicked off with a penalty for each team by the 18th minute, followed by another two penalties for South Africa and another penalty for Wales, ending the first half with a close score of 6-9 to South Africa. The second half begins in the same vein as the first, with a Welsh penalty, evening the scores to 9-9. The only action for a little while is subs coming on and off as both teams defend excellently, until South Africa’s Damian de Allende scores a Try for South Africa in the 57th minute and a speedy Conversion from South Africa’s Handre Pollard, raising the score to 9-16. It’s another seven minutes of subs coming on and off the field left, right and centre until Wales’ Josh Adams, a breakout star for Wales in this Rugby World Cup, scores a Try and Leigh Halfpenny ensures its Conversion quickly after. This evens the scores again to 16-16. The next eight minutes pass without scoring until South Africa’s Handre Pollard scores a penalty in the 76th minute, giving South Africa the edge to win and face England in the final match of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Saturday the 2nd of November sees the Final match of the 2019 Rugby World Cup kick off at International Stadium Yokohama in the Kanagawa Prefecture, in Yokohama City, with England facing South Africa. The game began with a missed Penalty by South Africa’s Handre Pollard in the 2nd minute, followed by a successful one in the 10th, putting South Africa in the lead. Then came an English Penalty by Owen Farrell in the 23rd minute, evening the scores to 3-3. By half time South Africa had scored 3 more Penalties, and England had scored 1 more, putting the score at 6-12 to South Africa. Although South Africa were in the lead at half time, 6 points is not unachievable by England’s team, and hope is not lost for the team to close the gap. The second half started with a Penalty from South Africa’s Handre Pollard, increasing their score to 15 and increasing the ever-widening the gap between their score and England’s. Then came another Penalty from England’s Owen Farrell, changing the score to 9-15. Only 3 minutes after this Penalty comes another for South Africa, and only 2 minutes after that comes another for England, with the scores at 12-18 to South Africa in the 60th minute. In the 66th minute South Africa’s Makazole Mapimpi scored the first Try of the match, followed by a conversion by Handre Pollard, increasing the scores to 12-25 to South Africa. Only 6 minutes later comes another try, this time scored by South Africa’s Cheslin Kolbe followed by another Conversion from Handre Pollard, increasing the scores yet again to 12-32. This would be the final score, with England scoring no Tries at all for the first time in their 2019 Rugby World Cup.
South Africa are the 2019 Rugby World Cup winners for their third time in the biggest margin of victory since Australia’s 35-12 win in 1999.