Map showing the forecast track of a cyclone moving towards Japan. Photo: AFP
rugby world cup 2019

Typhoon heads nearer Tokyo ahead of big Rugby World Cup weekend

19 Comments
By Laurence Chu

A powerful typhoon that organizers have warned could impact the final weekend of the Rugby World Cup pool stage has changed course, leaving forecasters and pundits wondering which games might be affected and who could benefit.

According to the latest modeling from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Super Typhoon Hagibis is now projected to clip southeastern Japan, near Tokyo and Yokohama.

This is a significant change from Monday's forecast, when the storm was expected to make landfall in Japan's far southwest. However, such radical changes in direction are not unusual for typhoons nearing Japan, which sees around 20 per year.

Hagibis could also continue its easterly track and miss Japan altogether.

"The Honshu main islands will see heavy rains from as early as Friday, and the peak of the bad weather will be on Saturday and Sunday," JMA official Yoshinori Muira told AFP.

Hagibis is currently classed as "violent" -- the JMA's highest classification, with gusts as strong as 270 kilometers per hour. It is forecast to weaken before it nears Japan but will still be "very strong".

If the current forecast holds, the danger would appear to be lower for crunch games in the southwest (Ireland-Samoa on Saturday in Fukuoka and Wales-Uruguay on Sunday in Kumamoto).

However, with the storm shifting east, there is now a threat for two other huge games in Yokohama.

England play France in a Pool C decider in Yokohama on Saturday and Japan play Scotland on Sunday, in a match that will determine whether the hosts qualify for their first quarter-final.

Organizers had warned Monday that the typhoon "could bring high winds and heavy rain to southern Japan on Oct 12 and 13."

"While it is too early to determine the exact trajectory and impact, if any, of the typhoon at this early stage... we have a robust contingency program in place in the event adverse weather looks likely to impact fixtures," they said in a statement.

Organizers can change the venue of a fixture or the timing if bad weather looks set to affect the match.

However, if a match is cancelled during the pool stages of the tournament, it is awarded as a 0-0 draw.

In the case of the England-France game, this would send Eddie Jones's side through as Pool C champions and a quarterfinal meeting likely against Australia.

A 0-0 draw would also guarantee Japan topping Pool A and another clash with the Springboks, whom they famously beat 34-32 in the 2015 "Miracle of Brighton" match.

But a cancellation would be a disaster for the Scots, who would be unable to progress assuming Ireland beat Samoa, as expected, the day before.

© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

19 Comments
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i hope its not going to be strong

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Cancelling the game would be very unfair for Scotland. I'm sure they'd have no complaints if they were eliminated fair and square by a defeat, but surely there would be no problem postponing the match for a day or two, even if the crowd was much smaller and tv schedules disrupted a little. Here's hoping Japan do the right thing and refuse a 0-0 result.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Why does It often struck during the weekend? It is even worse since this week we have a long weekend...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Nobnaga,

Let me help you. A direct quote from the article you failed to read. "It is forecast to weaken before it nears Japan but will still be "very strong"..

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

half of the year we need to deal with (a lot of) humidity + rain (translation: summer is a mess) and typhoons. been waiting for "normal" weather since June. i hope it won,t affect any games, i,d feel really bad for the Scottish.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I want to see Japan v All Blacks, so what sort of typhoon trajectory could ensure that?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Looking a bit like the weekend will could be a little wet. Anyone know what happens if they cancel - do you get your money back on tickets?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Never mind the ball games, what about the poor people of Chiba; are they going to get soaked/blown sideways/blacked out again? I understand some 1000+ homes are still without power from the last typhoon.

On a personal note - another wet, windy weekend keeping me off the allotment. It's been a pretty miserable summer for veggie growers. First there was too much rain and not enough sunshine, then there was too much sunshine and too much heat, and now we're back to too much wet. Grrr.

I hate typhoons.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Saturday already plan to stay at home. At least not a working day for most and the kids will be at home. Time for some of those party games like post-a-post on...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Rugby is the least of the worries. This is a really strong storm, and people need to get ready or leave town.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

This shows that the organisers really should have considered typhoon season. It could cancel matches and disrupt fans travel. Any sensible organiser would have held this in November to December.

Similar problems with Olympics organisers hosting in the heat of summer with overpopulated city transportation.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It's a shame they can't move the England-France and Japan-Scotland games to Sapporo Dome, but of course that's impossible.

Once again, as with the 2020 Olympics, we see the folly of picking the wrong time of year for the tournament. Instead of starting it in September when it is the typhoon season and still hot and humid, it should have started around October 18.

I know England hosted the 2015 World Cup from Sept 18 onward but they don't have typhoons, not is it hot and humid this time of year.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Even if the typhoon does effect some matches this weekend I would still say that the World Cup has been a success. I wasn’t expecting to see as much interest as there has been - a lot of it goes down to Japan downing Ireland.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Quite bizzare actually that only Pool matches (1st round) can be cancelled.

And in a WORLD Champions tournament, spread over 6 weeks or so, that postponement time could not be slotted into or allowed for in the schedule, is nothing short of totally inadequate.

If you organize such a World event in the typhoon season in Japan - where there is no "perhaps a typhoon will come" but a definitive "typhoons will come", then common sense dictates that alternative plans are necessary.

A "shouganai" it can't be helped 2 points all, it's a draw, is not a plan.

Weak.

Hopefully all teams will get a chance to strut their stuff.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As of 10:00 pm the picture caption is still ‘tropical cyclone’, but this is already being described as the most violent typhoon this year.

Let us hope that it bends further and further east.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Man and this was the only weekend I had tickets. I was looking forward to drinking 700yen Heinekens and hopefully see the U.S. get double digits in scoring.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But the referee decided at this moment he was going to implement this rule.

I've defended Samoa's decision to take the scrum in a previous post, but I agree that the ref's decision to penalize the put-in was a little odd.

Come on ye weather gods!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I know England hosted the 2015 World Cup from Sept 18 onward but they don't have typhoons, not is it hot and humid this time of year.

You could probably host it in any month of the year in England and it would be fine.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Holding the Rugby World Cup in the middle of the typhoon season was always a risk. If a team is knocked out by the weather, there will surely be massive doubts as to Japan hosting any future sporting events. Sport has to be decided by play. Japan’s credibility is on the line here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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