The Rugby World Cup has already produced fantastic moments and also shock moments that will go down in the tournament’s history. The underdogs have been showing why they belong in the tournament and that no team should be underestimated.
Some teams that have been expected to dominate have and in convincing fashion.
Wales Wash Wallabies Away
The Wallabies came into their game against Wales expecting to win but they were quickly brought down to earth. Australia went down to Wales 29-25 in a Rugby World Cup classic in Tokyo. They trailed the Welsh 26-8 early in the second half, but they quickly made a tremendous fightback to come within one point. Luckily for the Welsh, they managed to hold off the Wallaby fightback in the end with a late penalty.
The result all but assures that Wales will finish the pool stage on top while the Wallabies will almost inevitably finish second with their remaining fixtures against Uruguay and Georgia. If the Wallabies do end up finishing in second, they will likely face England which would be quite the spectacle. It would also mean that one of the “big” countries would be eliminated early. The only positive for Australia to take from the game is their late fightback despite it ending in despair. Wales will most likely be facing the French in the knockout stages and look pretty good to ease past France.
Springboks Prove Too Strong
Two-time champions South Africa ran riot against Namibia on route to a 57-3 thrashing. This moved them one step closer to securing a quarter-finals place. The Springboks were unforgiving and quickly showed they were over the All Blacks loss as they ran in five tries in the first half and four in the second.
South Africa will next face Italy in what is all but the decider to who will finish as runner ups in Group B. The All Blacks look as dominant as ever and look sure to finish top of the table. The Springboks will need to kick on from this convincing performance should if they are to have any hopes of progressing. Italy should not be underestimated and Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus had acknowledged that especially after a few upsets already this tournament.
The Hosts Prevail
The hosts Japan produced yet another stunning upset against the World Rugby’s second-ranked team Ireland who are one of the favourites to lift the trophy. The hosts stun the Irish in an instant World Cup classic as they won 19-12. This was a huge step for Japan as they are now on the edge of qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Home Support Is A Huge Advantage
This was just as big a victory as their one at the 2015 edition when they breathtakingly defeated the Springboks. Japan has not disappointed their home support. And many say it is the home support that has given them that extra determination to do well. Ireland had a perfect record against the Japanese coming into the game having seven wins and zero defeats. But Japan has proven once again that they should not be underestimated; and could cause another upset in their next clash against Scotland.