Typhoon Hagibis has forced the cancellation of flights, bullet trains and local lines in Tokyo and beyond Photo: AFP
rugby world cup 2019

World Rugby to decide on Sunday games 'as soon as possible' after typhoon

31 Comments
By Kazuhiro Nogi

Rugby World Cup officials said Saturday they would inspect venues for Sunday's matches immediately after Typhoon Hagibis has passed before deciding whether they can go ahead, as the crunch Japan-Scotland game in Yokohama hangs in the balance.

As one of the most powerful storms in decades swirls towards Japan, governing body World Rugby said: "Our primary consideration is the safety of everyone.

"We will undertake detailed venue inspections as soon as practically possible after the typhoon has passed and an update will be published as soon as that process has been undertaken in the morning," the statement added.

World Rugby has already axed two matches scheduled for Saturday -- New Zealand v Italy and England v France -- in the first cancellations in the World Cup's 32-year history.

Four matches are slated for Sunday including Japan and Scotland's high-stakes showdown in Pool A, which remains undecided heading into the final weekend of group games.

Canada are due to play Namibia in the Iwate town of Kamaishi, which was devastated in the 2011 tsunami and could still be affected by the storm on Sunday.

The USA play Tonga near Osaka, which should have seen the worst of the storm pass by Sunday. Wales face Uruguay in Kumamoto, which is out of the path of the storm.

But the match everyone is interested in is hosts Japan against Scotland, scheduled to be played in Yokohama near Tokyo at 7:45 p.m.

If current forecasts are correct, Hagibis will be well into the sea east of Japan by then but organizers will need to assess any potential damage to the venue and also judge transport disruption.

The match is crucial as Japan aim to make it into their first World Cup quarterfinal, which they will guarantee if they avoid defeat to the Scots.

If the match is cancelled, it will be classed as a 0-0 draw and both teams will get two points, sending Scotland home.

Even the possibility of a cancellation has sparked a row. Scotland threatened legal action if they were eliminated without playing the key match, prompting a stern response from World Rugby which stressed safety was paramount.

Hagibis has also disrupted the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka, where Saturday's qualifying session has been moved to race day on Sunday.

The typhoon is forecast to crash into central and eastern Japan early Saturday evening, packing maximum gusts of 216 kilometers hour, Japan's Meteorological Agency said.

© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

31 Comments

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Its only right to err on side of caution and cancel the Brave Blossoms v Scotland match. Proceeding with the game will put more pressure on emergency workers, police etc. after working through the night. Also, there is no guarantee transport will be a running effectively.

Anyway, Brave Blossoms have won all there games, so its justice that they would make the Final 8.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

True but they haven't beaten Scotland.......ever?

It's immaterial really, why don't we just cut to the final. New Zealand v Wales is for sure the final game. Or we could just toss a coin and all go down the pub.

Well done world rugby........your sponsors must be squirming at your lack of flexibility and FAIRNESS!! I doubt the term "world" rugby and agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Parisse. IRB........GTH!!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Its only right to err on side of caution and cancel the Brave Blossoms v Scotland match. 

I disagree. I think if the game can go ahead it should

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Look if it can it would but if it can't if wouldn't.

The stadium stand near the Tsurumi river which had over flooded in the past since and the land where the stadium sits right now was a swamp before they reclaimed and built that place.

The torrential rain is pouring 600mm per square meter from up stream and down into that river.

It's unknown if the water will recede if the river overflows and if it does they will be playing in a swamp not a field which neither side will call it a fair game if they lose. Even before the game starts I doubt the team or spectators will reach the stadium in the first place in those conditions.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

As one of the most powerful storms in decades swirls towards Japan, governing body World Rugby said: "Our primary consideration is the safety of everyone.

Move the game to monday and you won't have to worry about the safety of everyone as well as end up not creating a controversy that one team was sacrificed to benefit the host. Give the scots their day on the field let them decide their own fate and not some bogus decision using safety as a pretext.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Hagibis has also disrupted the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka, where Saturday's qualifying session has been moved to race day on Sunday.

The right decision, maybe the F1 organizers can be hired to run the RWC.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

@drlucifer

You don't get it do you.

If the river overflows and swamps the place. Even IF the water recedes the mud covering the field with the stench present.

It is going to be messy and above all dangerous. When you play in those kind of conditions then either side winning will be battered to the point that it will not be fair in the next match.

DO YOU WANT THAT?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

@Tiring. Well argued. It is too dangerous to play the game. Safety is number one priority. Call the game off.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Moving the Japan-Scotland game to Monday might be an option, but it would be giving Japan and Scotland an unfair opportunity that was denied to England, France, New Zealand and Italy. I personally wanted to see England play France. If you move one game, then all three games should have been moved. My solution would have been to have the New Zealand-Italy and England-France games played yesterday since they were already at their stadium cities anyway. Then it would have been acceptable to move the Japan-Scotland game to Monday if necessary.

The rules have to be the same for all teams.

But it's up to the organizers, not the Scottish Rugby Federation and definitely thankfully not to some of the readers who think a game can be moved easily.

I hope the worst of the typhoon is over by early morning and that the field and stadium are OK and that trains are running because I want to see the match, too.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

If the river overflows and swamps the place. Even IF the water recedes the mud covering the field with the stench present.

Good that you used the word "If"

The river has not overflowed yet. The England Vs France match was cancelled not because of a river overflowing. Go look for a better argument.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

@drlucifer

I am guessing you do not reside in Japan since if you do you'll only need to look out the window to see why the match was cancelled.

NOBODY in their right mind will want to walk outside in the general Tokyo region right now.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I am guessing you do not reside in Japan since if you do you'll only need to look out the window to see why the match was cancelled.

Depends where you are. It really hasn't been that bad where I am.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

If the match is cancelled, it will be classed as a 0-0 draw and both teams will get two points, sending Scotland home.

That's assuming Samoa won't beat Ireland. (Or have I got my calculations wrong?)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Strangerland

And where do you reside?

Anywhere west of Nagoya, on the coasts of Japan seas or North of Sendai have not seen the blunt force of this typhoon.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I saw the Japan team having a run out on the Yokohama pitch this morning. It was already a quagmire! Completely water logged. A whole lot more rain will have fallen since then. I have no idea how well that field drains but honestly speaking, the pitch may not be playable.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

And where do you reside?

I'm in Shizuoka. There has been a few small bouts of rain, but surprisingly little.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

1991 - Scotland win 47-9

2003 - " " " " " " " " " 32-11

2004 -" " " " " " " " "100-8

2013 -" " " " " " " " " 42-17

2015-" " " " " " " " " "45-10

2016- """""26-13 & 21-16

2019 - IRB 0-0 great result for world rugby

6 ( +6 / -0 )

2016- """""26-13 & 21-16

Competitive recently.

Didn't Japan defeat Ireland, whereas the Scots couldn’t even land a point?

Hopefully the match is on tomorrow, but bad luck to the Scots if they miss a chance.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

The match only seems to be being called off because of the logistics of organising a normal match for a stadium full of spectators. Who cares about them, just play it a different day to a closed stadium if you have to. People can still watch it on TV, there's no reason to call the whole thing off when both teams are ready to go and it's perfect possible to play

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Excuse me. The Scots kicked one penalty :)

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

there's no reason to call the whole thing off 

So simple isn’t it, why didn’t some Einstein inform world rugby of this prior to the event?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

StrangerlandToday 06:20 pm JST

And where do you reside?

I'm in Shizuoka. There has been a few small bouts of rain, but surprisingly little.

I didn't know there was a place in Scotland named Shizuoka. Lol

The rain west of landing point is calm as water. East of it, it's a complete different story.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

if they play the Japan vs Scotland, it's gross cheating.

Either they reschedule the 3 matches of Saturday and Sunday, or they cancel all matches of the whole level.

NOBODY in their right mind will want to walk outside

Today, don't tell me they can't play anywhere in Japan next Tuesday Wednesday Thursday ....?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I am guessing you do not reside in Japan since if you do you'll only need to look out the window to see why the match was cancelled.

NOBODY in their right mind will want to walk outside in the general Tokyo region right now.

I am guessing you think everybody living in Japan is living in Tokyo or neighboring prefectures.

You right nobody in their right mind want to go out right now but for your info the match is not today but tomorrow.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Didn't Japan defeat Ireland, whereas the Scots couldn’t even land a poin

I guess you have never heard of the word slow start or not aware of eventual starting with a defeat.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

So simple isn’t it, why didn’t some Einstein inform world rugby of this prior to the event?

Nobody thought they had to inform world rugby since every other sporting confederation has already figured it out.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Today, don't tell me they can't play anywhere in Japan next Tuesday Wednesday Thursday ....?

The venues are not rented exclusive for rugby if you didn't know, there are soccer matches as well as other sports event happening in Japan that has nothing to do with rugby and they have their time slot as much as anyone.

Rugby is not the only sports in this part of the world and unless the World Rugby associate is able to muster the money it is literally game over.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Yes, the typhoon cannot be helped.

Yes, maybe even the day after the typhoon their may be disruption and it may be unsafe for spectators to be wandering about. Ganbare Japan also makes a good point about police and emergency services being exhausted having worked through the night.

So just fly the teams down to Kyushu and play behind closed doors in the stadium they used today for the Ireland game. That could be organized in a New York minute, surely?

World Rugby, (not that you will be reading) why exactly can you not do this?

"Because they signed an agreement...."

That doesn't necessarily mean it is a good agreement though does it?

You are being ridiculous.

I would love Japan to win the whole tournament, but If Scotland are removed due to a 0-0 draw against a team they have never lost against in their history, then it puts a massive asterisk against the rest of the competition.

It makes it meaningless really. Why tune in to watch a competition when one of the teams have been randomly removed for non-sporting reasons?

If by some miracle, Japan then went all the way, it would also tarnish their achieved meant.

People saying that it is fair because Japan beat Ireland and Scotland did not are also not making sense. The issue is whether Japan can beat Scotland, surely. Four years ago, Japan threw everything at South Africa and won. We loved it. But did they have enough in the tank to repeat the performance and get through? They did not. History is repeating itself here. Japan threw everything at Ireland. Have they got enough gas left? You can't just let them breeze on through without stopping to find out. It is simply unsporting.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

play behind closed doors in the stadium they used today for the Ireland game.

The Ireland game pitch is a complete disgrace, what is this pitch.

I don’t think anyone wants to play rugby on it today, let alone tomorrow after today’s match.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The issue is whether Japan can beat Scotland

They beat Ireland, and Ireland whipped Scotland. I’d course they can. Sure, it might go either way. The game will probably go ahead is my guess.

But the tournament rules were already set! No use complaining (you’d think) I’d the rules look like they might not suit because another team managed to win all their matches fair and square.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

That's assuming Samoa won't beat Ireland. (Or have I got my calculations wrong?)

Ireland have already got a bonus point (it's half time right now), so if tomorrow's game is cancelled, Scotland are definitely out.

The Ireland game pitch is a complete disgrace, what is this pitch.

It is a mess. It looks like the turf hasn't rooted properly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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