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Terrific All Blacks Trounce Terrible Ireland

New Zealand have booked a Rugby World Cup semi-final date with England after demolishing Ireland in their quarter-final

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(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

New Zealand have secured a semi-final with England after a dominant 46-14 win over Ireland in their Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Japan this afternoon.

A brace of tries from scrum-half Aaron Smith along with further five-pointers from Beauden Barrett, Codie Taylor, Matt Todd, George Bridge and Jordie Barrett saw the All Blacks ease to victory over a dismal Irish side who just never got going.

The ball switched hands early on but it was the All Blacks who struck first as Richie Mo’unga slotted over a penalty from the right-hand side of the posts to make it 3-0 five minutes in. 

Ireland responded well but their revival was short-lived as New Zealand came powering back to make their way into the Irish 22. From there they went through the phases close to the try-line before scrum-half Smith took a quick pick and go at the back of a ruck to touch down near the posts. Mo’unga added the easy extras to make it 10-0 after 14 minutes. 

With a quarter of the match gone New Zealand perfected a set-piece move from a scrum, spreading the ball out to the left-wing to Bridge who almost went in for a try but from the resulting ruck, Smith picked and dived over the line in the left-corner for his second-try. Mo’unga sent over the kick from the touchline to push the reigning champions further ahead. 

The men in green could not find a way into the game and just past the half hour mark they were even further behind as the ball was spilled from a tackle on Johnny Sexton. Mo’unga kicked ahead, before Beauden Barrett continued the move by kicking the ball along the ground again. 

Barrett raced forward to latch onto the ball in the right-corner to put the ball down for his side’s third try of the game. Mo’unga couldn’t provide the extra two this time around but Ireland looked down and out at 22-0. 

Ireland battled hard to try and register a score before the half-time whistle but their efforts failed as the All Blacks went in to the dressing rooms 22-0 up. 

Things only got worse for Ireland after the break as New Zealand hammered away at the opposition defence going through the motions over the opening stages of the half and rewarded eight minutes in. They went through phase after phase before captain Kieran Read broke through a gap before popping the ball up as he got tackled to Taylor, who went in under the posts. Mo’unga ensured the easy conversion went over to make it 29-0. 

As the clock ticked past the hour mark New Zealand made their dominance count again as a cross-field kick over to Sevu Reece who darted through the Irish 22, being held up just before the try-line, but from the ruck they popped the ball to substitute Matt Todd to barge over. Mo’unga missed the conversion this time around but Ireland looked out on their feet. 

With just over ten minutes remaining Ireland managed to get some points on the board as CJ Stander picked from the back of a five-metre scrum, passing to Robbie Henshaw, who dived under the posts to score the try. Joey Carbery converted to make it 34-7. 

That score kicked the All Blacks into action once more as they turned over a ruck in the middle of the pitch, breaking forward through Ardie Savea, who passed to sub Dane Coles, who sent a lovely offload to Bridge to charge over for another try. Mo’unga knocked over another two points. 

In what was a hectic final 10 minutes Ireland were awarded a penalty try three minutes from time as Todd prevented a certain try and received a yellow-card for his actions. 

The scoring wasn’t over there as New Zealand went up the other end of the pitch, winning a scrum before sending the ball to man of the match Beauden Barrett, who in turn launched a long-pass out to his brother Jordie, who dived over in the right-corner. The extras were missed with the last kick of the game as it finished 46-14 to the All Blacks.  

For Ireland it is the end of another disappointing World Cup campaign in what also closes the book on Joe Schmidt’s Ireland tenure as well captain Rory Best’s playing career. While for the All Blacks they will prepare for a semi-final with England next Saturday as they continue their bid to win a third successive Webb Ellis Cup. 

Player Ratings

New Zealand Starting XV:

Beauden Barrett (9), Sevu Reece (8), Jack Goodhue (7), Anton Lienert-Brown (7), George Bridge (7), Richie Mo’unga (8), Aaron Smith (8), Kieran Read (7), Sam Cane (7), Ardie Savea (8), Sam Whitelock (7), Brodie Retallick (8), Nepo Laulala (7), Codie Taylor (8), Joe Moody (8)

Replacements (8)

Ireland Starting XV:

Rob Kearney (4), Keith Earls (4), Gary Ringrose (6), Robbie Henshaw (6), Jacob Stockdale (5), Johnny Sexton (4), Conor Murray (5), CJ Stander (6), Josh van der Flier (6), Peter O’Mahony (5), James Ryan (6), Iain Henderson (6), Tadhg Furlong (6), Rory Best (5), Cian Healy (5)

Replacements (6)

Rugby World Cup

Women’s Rugby World Cup looks set to be postponed.

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World Rugby has made the difficult decision to recommend the postponement of Rugby World Cup 2021, scheduled to be hosted in New Zealand between 18 September-16 October, until next year. The recommendation will be considered by the Rugby World Cup Board and World Rugby Executive Committee on 8 and 9 March respectively.Play Video

While appreciating the recommendation is extremely disappointing for teams and fans, it has their interests at heart, and gives the tournament the best opportunity to be all it can be for them, all New Zealanders and the global rugby family.

The recommendation is based on the evolution of the uncertain and challenging global COVID-19 landscape. It has become clear in recent discussions with key partners including New Zealand Rugby, the New Zealand Government and participating unions, that, given the scale of the event and the COVID-19-related uncertainties, it is just not possible to deliver the environment for all teams to be the best that they can be on the sport’s greatest stage.  

The challenges include uncertainty and the ability for teams to prepare adequately for a Rugby World Cup tournament both before and on arrival in New Zealand, and challenging global travel restrictions. 

World Rugby can assure teams, New Zealanders and the global rugby family that the recommendation to postpone the tournament will help to ensure that Rugby World Cup 2021 will be all it can be next year for players, fans and the rugby family – one of the great Rugby World Cups.

Further updates will be issued following the Rugby World Cup Board and World Rugby Executive Committee meetings next week.  

Statement Ends.

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Rugby World Cup

RWC 2023 Pools confirmed.

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Confirmed.

How the draw worked

As host nation, France was drawn first and placed randomly in one of the four pools. The teams were then drawn randomly from each band, starting with Band 5 (Africa 1, Oceania 1, Asia / Pacific 1, Final Qualifier Winner), then Band 4 (Americas 1, Americas 2, Europe 1, Europe 2), then Band 3 (Scotland, Argentina, Fiji and Italy), then Band 2 (Ireland, (France), Australia, Japan) and finally Band 1 (South Africa, New Zealand, England, Wales). The first drawn in each band was placed in Pool A, the second in Pool B, the third in Pool C and the fourth in Pool D.


Draw seedings

Twelve of the 20 teams qualified automatically by finishing in the top three places of their Rugby World Cup 2019 pool. These 12 teams are: South Africa, New Zealand, England, Wales, Ireland, France, Australia, Japan, Scotland, Argentina, Fiji and Italy. Acknowledging the global COVID-19 impact on international rugby in 2020, these teams were seeded based on the World Rugby Men’s Rankings as of 1 January, 2020 and placed into the first three bands of four teams.

The remaining eight teams will come through the regional qualification process and were allocated for the draw into bands four and five based on relative strength. They are: Americas 1, Americas 2, Europe 1, Europe 2, Africa 1, Oceania 1, Asia / Pacific 1 and the Final Qualifier Winner.

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Rugby World Cup

Qualification process set for Rugby World Cup 2023

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Image from World Rugby
  • Process designed to promote regional strength and the best teams to rugby’s showcase event
  • 12 teams already qualified owing to top three pool placing at RWC 2019
  • RWC 2023 on track to be a spectacular celebration of rugby and France


World Rugby has announced details of the qualification process for Rugby World Cup 2023 in France.

Following the most competitive and widely-acclaimed Rugby World Cup to date in Japan, the qualification process is designed to deliver the top teams in the world to rugby’s showcase tournament, while promoting a genuine opportunity for all unions.

With 12 teams having secured their place at France 2023 courtesy of finishing in the top three of their respective pools at RWC 2019, the remaining eight places will be determined by a process of regional and cross-regional qualifiers. The process will conclude with a four-team round-robin Final Qualification Tournament in November 2022 to determine the final qualifier.

The dates for events in 2021 will be announced in due course and will be subject to an anticipated easing of the COVID-19 situation.

The announcement follows consultation with unions and regions in January 2020 and a full review of performance at Rugby World Cup 2019, where rankings upsets and the impressive performances in particular of Japan, Fiji, Uruguay, Tonga and Georgia cut the performance gap, with the average winning margin between established and emerging unions decreasing in comparison with 2015 benchmarks.

The Americas will deliver two direct places, while Oceania will deliver a direct qualifier with a further direct place available following a play-off with Asia. The Rugby Europe Championship (two direct places), Rugby Africa Cup (one direct place) and Final Qualification Tournament (one direct place) will provide the other qualifiers. Further details are provided below.

RWC 2023 qualification principles

  • Americas: the Americas will qualify two teams by September 2022. The third best team in the region will enter the Final Qualification Tournament – Americas 1 & Americas 2
  • Europe: the existing Rugby Europe Championship will have two qualifying places, with the two best teams in March 2022 qualifying directly and the third placed entering the Final Qualification Tournament – Europe 1 & Europe 2 
  • Africa: the Rugby Africa Cup 2022 winner will qualify directly and the runner-up team will go to Final Qualification – Africa 1
  • Oceania: a home and away play-off between Tonga and Samoa in 2021 will determine the direct qualifier for the Oceania region. – Oceania 1
    The loser will then play the Oceania Rugby Cup 2021 winner in the highest ranked team’s country with the eventual winner contesting Asia / Pacific (see below) as Oceania 2
  • Asia / Pacific: the winner of the Asian Rugby Men’s Championship 2021 will play Oceania 2 home and away. The winner on aggregate will determine the qualifier and the loser will go to Final Qualification – Asia / Pacific 1
  • Final Qualification Tournament: the tournament in November 2022 will feature four teams playing in a round-robin format with the winner qualifying for RWC 2023 – Final Qualification winner


Teams already qualified: South Africa, England, New Zealand, Wales, Japan, France (host), Australia, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Argentina, Fiji

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “With the global pandemic having halted most rugby activity, confirmation of the global qualification process for Rugby World Cup 2023 provides a beacon of excitement for all, including players and fans.

“The process that has been developed via full consultation with our regional associations and member unions will provide a genuine opportunity for full member unions to qualify for our showcase men’s 15s event.

“Maximising existing regional competitions, the process is good for regions and unions in managing costs for organisers and participants alike, which is important as we all recover from the global pandemic.

“On behalf of World Rugby, I’d like to wish all teams involved the best of luck on their journey to France 2023.”

Rugby World Cup France 2023 CEO Claude Atcher added: “This qualification process gives emerging unions an opportunity to take part in our sport’s biggest competition.

“The success of Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan and performances by the host nation is a testimony of rugby’s expansion globally. As the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic is about to be won, I welcome this optimistic prospect of reconnecting with the excitement of our sport. This is the start of our journey towards France 2023, which will be the best tournament ever delivered.”

Final details of the regional competition formats and dates will be announced in due course.

Official Press Release from World Rugby

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