RWC 2023 fourth round: Quarterfinal second spots up for grabs

Parc Olympique Lyonnais, home of the New Zealand vs. Uruguay and the France vs. Italy Game

The RWC 2023 fourth round sees teams tightly paired and will require the fifth round to decide the second spots for the quarterfinal.

RWC 2023 fourth round: There are quarterfinal spots up for grabs

Pool A

The RWC 2023 fourth round sees quarterfinal second spots up for grabs with New Zealand and Italy still in contention for the second spot

The indisciplined Namibian side fell 36-26 to Uruguay ending their RWC 2023 campaign and extending their RWC losing streak to 26

An indisciplined Namibian side fell 36-26 against Uruguay denying them a RWC maiden win and extending their winless record in RWC to 26. Namibia who were playing their final match in pool A will have themselves to blame after throwing away a 20-12 lead in the first half in the wake of several indiscipline cases which saw two of their players yellow carded and one red carded.

Notable absentees

The Welwitschias headed into this match without captain Johan Deysel who is facing a six-week ban for a dangerous tackle on Antoine Dupont, Le Roux Malan who suffered a leg injury in their game against the All Blacks, and Johan Retief who had been bitten by a spider in their hotel.

The game

Namibia started off perfectly after Gerswin Mounton pounced o n a loose pass from Santiago Arata to dot down their first try in the 59th second. Things were going well for the Welwitschias as Richard Hardwick was able to set up JC Greyling to score their second try at the corner and Swanepoel was able to convert it to take the scores to 14-0.

Uruguay were able to cut down the deficit to 14-5 after fullback Baltazar Amaya sneaked past the Namibian defense after a a dominant scrum by his side. However, the Namibians wanted to control the game responding with Tiaan Swanepoel penalty. The Los Teros reduced the deficit after German Kessler bugged in from a maul for a 17-12 scoreline.

Tiaan Swanepoel’s accuracy was at it best converting penalties at either sides of the of the halves maintaining a 23-12 lead at the beginning of the second half. Knowing that the scrum was their major asset, the Los Teros utilized it to its fullest to punish the Namibians. Their attempts paid off after the Welwitschias tight head prop Johan Coetzee was sent to the bin after numerous penalties.

Amaya utilised the one man advantage landing his second try to close the gap between the teams.

Things started playing in favor of the Los Teros after Arata made up for the error he had made in the opening half of their match benefiting from a loose offload and danced past his markers scoring a try to give Los Teros the lead for the first time in the game.

Things took a turn for the worse for Namibia after their captain Tjiuee Uanivi and replacement prop Desidenus Sethie were shown yellow cards for dangerous tackles. The Des Sethie yellow card which was still under review was upgraded to a red card by the bunker.

Uruguay took advantage of the numerical imbalance and Bautista Basso added a bonus point try from a cross-field kick by Berchesi to land the fourth try. Berchesi had the last say of the game converting a penalty to seal a ten point lead.

Namibia becomes the first team in the RWC 2023 to be eliminated and hold the longest losing streak.

All Blacks run over Italy 96-17 to erase doubt cast on them

The All Blacks made a huge statement by beating Italy 96-17 erasing any doubt cast on them. New Zealand who had been beaten by host France in their opening pool game found themselves in an unfamiliar position being third in pool A the lowest they have ever been.

Ian Forster made nine changes to his side bringing in the big guns who delivered as expected.

Aaron Smith stars in the first half

The three time RWC winners started off the first half and immediately showed their intent of making a statement. With just six minutes they were on the scoreboard with Will Jordan opening the scores courtesy of Jordie Barrett cross kick. The try was a call for them to scores more tries.

Aaron Smith scored a hattrick of tries with captain Ardie Savea grabbing a brace of tries. Tries from Mark Telea, Jordie Barett and Richie Mounga’s successful conversions was able to hand the men in black a 49-3 lead at half time. The second half saw Ange Capuozzo grab a try for Italy which motivated the Azzurri.

However this did not make the All Blacks relent their battering on them. The All Blacks had a field day with Brodie Retallick, Dalton Papali’i, Dane Coles [two], Damian McKenzie, Will Jordan and Anton Liernet Brown rounding off the All Blacks scoring. Monty Ioane was able to grab a consolation try for Italy but the damage had already been done with the game ending 96-17 in favor of the All Blacks. The All Blacks are now in second position and will face Uruguay in their final pool play while Italy have a date with hosts France.

Key takeaways   

The All Blacks made a huge statement and teams will be weary of their force going forth. New Zealand made an improvement on their discipline which made their game flawless. Its hard to write off the All Blacks in this years RWC 2023 as Sam Whitelock played his record 149 test match.

POOL A standings

Pool B

The RWC 2023 fourth round sees quarterfinal second spots up for grabs with South Africa and Scotland being in contention of the final spot.

Springboks beat Tonga 49-18 with Handrè Pollard making an impressive return.

The RWC 2019 winners, South Africa, beat Tonga 49-18 in the wake of Handrè Pollard’s impressive return. Pollard was called up to the team after Malcom Max was ruled out for the remaining part of the team and he impressed in his first match of the RWC 2023.

Pollard return brings hope for the Springboks

Pollard’s return saw the Springboks kicking woes gone kicking in all the seven conversions. The Boks defense also showed a great improvement against a heavily physical Tongan side as they seemed unshaken.

However, the Springboks will be keen on monitoring Makazole Mapimpi who was withdrawn earlier for a Head Injury Assessment [HIA] and was not returned with Jesse Kriel replacing him.

Tonga started off fiercely camping at the Boks 22 in the opening 15 minutes. They were able to benefit with a penalty which they converted for a 3-0 lead. The Springboks were awarded a penalty from a line-out drive which the Tongans infringed and Cobus Reinach broke fast from a tap and go to score his opening try. The South African Springboks were able to score their second try which came from Pollard pass which hit Vincent Koch’s shoulder and was collected by Canan Moodie who sprinted and scored.

Tonga’s Ben Tameifuna bulldozed himself against the Boks defense line scoring his side’s first try. However, the Boks were quick to respond after Deon Fourie went over for his side third try just before half time. Coming from the half time break the Boks struggled to convert the chances they had. Nevertheless, Jesse Kriel powered himself over the line for the Boks fourth and bonus point try.

A series of impressive pick and go by Tonga resulted to the South Africans being sucked and the ball was released to Fine Linisi who had a wide space out to score a second try for his side. Tonga however rewarded the ball to the Boks after they knocked on in their 22 and Willie le Roux pounced on it scoring a try in his 90th test. Tonga’s Patrick Pellegrin pounced on a wayward offload by the Boks which he chipped and beat the Boks defense to score his side third try.

Kwagga Smith rounded off the scoring with a late try for the Springboks taking the scores to 49-18. The South African Springboks have completed their pool matches and will be hoping for Ireland to win or draw against Scotland for them to proceed to the last eight.

Darcy Graham shines for Scotland as they put 12 tries past Romania

Darcy Graham shines for Scotland as they put 12 tries past Romania. Scotland who were 84-0 winners against the Romanian side have a test against World number one Ireland whom they must beat convincingly if they wish to progress to the last eight.

Romania started the match with an impressive defense line thwarting any attempt by the Scots for nine minutes. However, this did not hold for long as Scotland had a breakthrough after Redpath set up Hamish Watson for the first try of the game. Darcy Graham set up Ali Price for his side second try and him scoring the third try for a 21-0 lead in just under 22 minutes.

Romania’s night started being bad after Robert Irimescu was yellow carded for a shoulder charge to the head of Healy. Florian Rosu was later yellow carded for a side entry on a Scottish maul reducing them to 13 men. Darcy was able to outpace his markers to score the bonus point try for his side.

Scotland continued their onslaught on Romania and Matt Fagerson scored his side fifth try. Romania’s indiscipline saw them fall to 12 men after Marius Simionescu was sin binned. Scotland’s Chris Harius took advantage of the numeric imbalance and set up Graham for his hattrick score taking the scores to 42-0 at half time. Second half scoring from fullback Ollie Smith, Johnny Matthews, Rory Darge and Darcy Graham’s fourth try rounded off Scotland massive win. Debutant fly half Ben Healy booted in 27 points that summed up the 84-0 victory over Romania.

Scotland now have a date with World number one Ireland in a mouth watering clash as they seek to qualify for the quarterfinals.

POOL B standings

Pool C

The RWC 2023 fourth round sees quarterfinal second spots up for grabs with Fiji and Australia in contention for the final spot.

Fiji put up a brilliant second half comeback to earn a dramatic win over Georgia

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Fiji put up a brilliant second half comeback to earn a 17-12 win over Georgia at Stade de Bordeaux.

Simon Raiwalui’s men saw themselves trailing 9-0 at half time. Georgia kicked off the first half well with Matkava booting in the first points of the game. Niniashvili added six points from long range. It was the first time Fiji had gone into the interval scoreless in a Test match in six years.

Fiji finally got on the scoreboard six minutes into the second half as skipper Nayacalevu produced a brilliant finish under pressure to sneak over in the corner. Replacement scrum half Frank Lomani added a difficult conversion and strengthened by the return of Semi Radradra from the sin bin.  Lomani’s penalty gave them the lead for the first time with 15 minutes remaining. Three minutes later, Levani Botia charged through a gap and found Habosi, who sprinted over unopposed.

Lomani impressive kicking prowess was evident again after he landed the conversion but there was more drama in the final minute as Joshua Tuisova was sent to the sin bin for making head contact on Miriani Modebadze. Matkava kicked his second penalty and Fiji survived from the final play of the game when Niniashvili broke away and kicked ahead, only for Ilaisa Droasese, kicked away the ball for the game to end 17-12 in favor of the flying Fijians.

The flying Fijians will now face Portugal in their final pool match and will hope to win the game to confirm their place in the last eight.

Australia beat Portugal to keep a slim quarterfinal qualification alive

Australia beat Portugal 34-14 to keep a slim quarterfinal qualification alive.

Portugal who were being supported wildly started the match in a charismatic way. After falling behind early to a Ben Donaldson penalty, Os Lobos produced a thrilling spell of ball-in-hand rugby, ending with center Pedro Bettencourt crashing over in the corner.

Behind 7-3 after 13 minutes Australia had to dig deep. Helped by a Bettencourt yellow card just two minutes after his try heroics, the Wallabies did sparkle briefly. Three tries in seven minutes the best a fine flowing team effort finished off by prop Angus Bell settled their nerves. Flanker Fraser McReight secured the bonus point soon after half-time.

READ MORE: Flying Fijians on the rise, as fumbling Eddie Jones’ Wallabies fall flat

But buoyed by two yellow cards in three minutes for the Wallabies, Portugal refused to crumble. A second Portugal try with nine minutes left on the clock had Australian hearts racing before winger, Marika Koroibete, finally cooled thoughts of a historic upset. The Wallabies now head into the final weekend of Pool play needing a huge favour from their vanquished opponents. The Australians (Wallabies) will hope Portugal (Os Lobos) pull an upset on Fiji so as to deny the Pacific Islanders a losing bonus point for them to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Flying Fijians on the rise, as fumbling Eddie Jones’ Wallabies fall flat

POOL C standings

Pool D

The RWC 2023 fourth round sees quarterfinal second spots up for grabs with Argentina and Japan in contention of the second and final spot.

Japan beat a resilient 14-man Samoa to grant England a quarterfinal spot

Japan beat a resilient 14-man Samoa 28-22 in their RWC 2023 fourth round  to grant England a quarterfinal spot as pool leaders in this year’s RWC 2023. The Brave Blossoms headed to this match with the hope of securing a win to boost there chances to qualify for the quarterfinals which they featured for the first time in RWC 2019 when they hosted the tournament.

Japan started off well with Pieter Labuschange scoring the first try of the game in the 13th minute and Rikiya Matsuda adding the extras for a 7-0 lead. Samoa were able to cut down the deficit through Di Angelo Leuila but Matsuda restored their lead kicking in a penalty to take a 10-3 lead.

The Brave Blossom persisted attack paid off after Michael Leitch scored a try at the corner. Manu Samoa were dealt a blow after scrum half Jonathan Taumateine was sent to the bin after an infringement was spotted in the build up to the try. The teams were even with 14 men each after Japan’s hooker Shota Horie was sent to the bin for making a standing tackle which resulted in a head to head contact with Samoa’s Seilala Lam.

Manu Samoa were restored to 15 men after Jonathan’s time in the sin bin elapsed and took advantage of the extra man in the field scoring through a driving maul with Lam touching down reducing the deficit to 17-8. However, things went south for the Samoans after Ben Lam was sent to the bin after TMO spotted a high tackle on Lappies Labuschagné, which after a bunker review was upgraded to a red card.

Japan utilised the advantage with Kazuki Himeno scoring at the corner. Rikiyi Matsuda slotted in a penalty kick extending Japan’s lead to 25-8. Samoa were not ready to give up that easily and Duncan Paia’aua scored a try at the corner and Leuila was able to add the extras. Matsuda was at it again adding a long range penalty kick for 28-15 lead.

Manu Samoa battled on despite being a man down and Christian Leali’ifano wrestled his way through Japan’s defence scoring and converting his own try cutting the deficit to 28-22 lead. Despite Samoa’s fight back, Japan put up a strong defense and were able to hold on to the lead eventually winning the match. Samoa now have an uphill task as they shift their focus on pool leaders England in their match in Lille in the coming week and will now have to beat them and hope the rest of of the matches will favor them if they wish to proceed to the quarterfinal. Japan on the other hand have a date with Argentina who are also eagerly determined to join England in the quarterfinal.

Argentina down Chile setting up a quarterfinal qualification showdown against Japan

Argentina beat Chile 59-5 in their RWC 2023 fourth round to set up a quarterfinal qualification showdown against Japan in the fifth and final round of matches in the RWC 2023. The two South American teams set up a historic match which was heavily one sided.

Los Puma’s fly half Nicholas Sanchez who was playing his 100th test match opened the scoring with a brilliant individual try. Veteran hooker Augstin Creevy burst his way through a maul to score the side’s second try. The Los Pumas were reduced to 14 men after Rodrigo Isgro was sent to the bin for a high tackle on Chile’s fly half Rodrigo Fernandez.

However this did not have any impact on them as they were able to hold on to 24-0 lead to half time. The second half saw Argentina pick up from where they left from after fullback Martin Bogado scored the fourth try, which was a bonus point try from the restart. Isgro made up for his time at the bin scoring for his side fifth try. Gonzalez scored his second try taking the tally to 45-0. The Chileans were offered a lifeline after replacement hooker Tomas Dussaillant scored an unconverted 73rd minute try.

The Los Pumas had the final say scoring through Ignacio Ruiz who powered himself past the Chileans defense line completing 59-5 win. The loss sees Chile complete their RWC 2023 winless.

Argentina now have  a quarter final qualification showdown against Japan who had downed Samoa in their pool D showdown. These two teams will hope to join England in the last eight matches.

POOL D standings

The RWC 2023 fourth round sees quarterfinal second spots up for grabs for the second and third positioned teams. Bonus points might be important when determining the second and final qualifiers in this years RWC 2023. The fifth round of matches will be highly contestable and teams will battle for the coveted position.

READ MORE: RWC 2023: Race for the quarterfinals is on for the matchday four

Final RWC 2023 fixtures  

Thursday, Oct 5, 2023 New Zealand vs Uruguay Parc OL

Friday ,Oct   6, 2023  France vs Italy                         Parc OL

Saturday, Oct 7, 2023 Wales vs Georgia                   Stade de Beaujoire

Saturday, Oct 7, 2023 England vs Samoa                Stade Pierre Mauroy

Saturday, Oct 7, 2023 Ireland vs Scotland              Stade de France

Sunday, Oct  8,  2023  Japan vs Argentina              Stade de Beaujoire

Sunday, Oct 8, 2023   Romania vs Tonga                 Stade Pierre Mauroy

Sunday, Oct 8 , 2023    Fiji vs Portugal                      Stade de Toulouse


Courtesy of World Rugby

Photo credit: TeZeD17 on Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED