Rugby takes on typhoon in huge gamble

Scotland will have a chance to make the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals after it was confirmed that their crucial clash against Japan will go ahead.

Tournament organisers today inspected the damage from Typhoon Hagibis in Yokohama and determined that it was safe enough for the match to continue, with the goalposts being put up and the sun shining.

A decision is still to be made whether it will be safe enough for fans to attend, with organisers still waiting for the green light from transport authorities.

The result comes as a relief to Scotland who would’ve been knocked out of the tournament if the match was cancelled – which would’ve deemed the match as a draw, seeing Japan sail through as Pool A winners.

OFFICIAL#JPNvSCO is ON!#RWC2019 #RWCYokohama

Take care on the journey to and from the game. pic.twitter.com/mX7QGeiUsd

Earlier today, Canada and Namibia have had their respective World Cup campaigns cut short, with their clash this afternoon cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.

World Rugby announced that due to a level five evacuation order remaining operational following the typhoon the match in Kamaishi had been called off on safety grounds.

“Following extensive discussions with World Rugby, Kamaishi City and Iwate Prefecture, during which we considered every possibility to make this game happen, we had no option but to cancel the match to ensure the safety of the fans, team, volunteers, and all others involved,” organising committee chief executive Akira Shimazu said.

“It was both a difficult and emotional decision to make, however, I feel it’s the right decision and firmly believe both domestic and foreign fans will understand the decision was made to ensure safety.”

The USA-Tonga game at Hanazono Stadium in Osaka and the Wales-Uruguay game at Kumamoto were given the all clear to go ahead on Sunday.

Wales has secured a spot in the quarterfinals, while Uruguay, the U.S. and Tonga are out of contention.

Conditions in Yokohama were earlier being assessed for the crucial Japan-Scotland Pool A game on Sunday, the last of the 40 pool-stage matches.

The New Zealand vs. Italy at Toyota and England vs. France at Yokohama were the first games ever to be cancelled at rugby’s showpiece event.

Like those two games, the Canada-Namibia result was logged as 0-0 and each team was given two competition points each. Canada and Namibia were both winless, so the cancellation had no impact on the quarterfinals.

Typhoon Hagibis was one of the most powerful storms to hit Japan in decades and World Rugby said safety considerations are at the heart of the decision to cancel the first of Sunday’s games.

— with AFP

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