Rugby World Cup Week 2 Recap

Rugby World Cup 2023, Hosted by France Credit: WHISKHEELS /

All 20 teams have now played at least one game in this year’s Rugby World Cup, giving fans from across the globe a clearer idea of who might be lifting the trophy come the end of October. Here is a pool-by-pool roundup of what happened in France over the past four days.

Pool A

Uruguay kicked off their competition with a 27-12 loss to hosts France on Thursday evening. The scoreline, however, reads a lot worse than how the game was played in reality. Up until the 73rd-minute mark, Los Teros were just eight points off France and looked good value to add more points to their tally and sneak a losing bonus point. Not to be in the end but the South American side will take a lot of positives from a hard-fought battle against one of the tournament favourites.

The one game on Friday night was between New Zealand and Namibia, both of which were looking for their first points in the group stage. The All Blacks lost their opening game to France but were determined to come back fighting and did exactly that, scoring 11 tries for a 71-3 win. They move into second in Pool A, three points off Les Bleus.

Pool B

After thrashing Romania last weekend, Ireland looked to be the real deal in this 10th Rugby World Cup. They faced Tonga this weekend and blew the island nation away 59-16 to show just why they are ranked number one in the world. After just two games, Ireland have an incredible points difference of +117.

Elsewhere in Pool B, 2019 winners South Africa compounded Romania’s misery with a 76-0 win. This was just the 15th time in Rugby World Cup history that a team has failed to score any points in an 80-minute match.

Pool C

Portugal got underway at just their second appearance at a World Cup after 2007 but were met by a strong Wales outfit and fell short 28-8. Tries from Louis Rees-Zammit, Dewi Lake, Jac Morgan and Taulupe Faletau secured the win for Warren Gatland’s side. Wales joined Ireland as the only other team to have collected maximum points so far in the group stage. Portugal are still searching for their first win at a RWC.

In the game of the weekend, Fiji shocked the world by beating Australia 22-15 and moving to second in Pool C. Fiji has already played Wales so only Georgia and Portugal are left to play. Should they win both and score four or more tries in each game, they will book their place in the quarter-finals.

Pool D

Samoa are also in with a shot at qualifying for the quarter-finals after beating Chile 43-10 and stealing second place from Japan, having played a game less. They have not reached that stage of the competition since 1995 and have never gone one better and made it to the semis.

Although a somewhat unconvincing performance, a 34-12 win over Japan and five points on the board is all that will matter to Steve Borthwick and England. Lewis Ludlam, Courtney Lawes, Freddie Steward and Joe Marchant got the tries to move England four points clear at the top of Pool D.

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Written by

Ross Sanderson

Based in Edinburgh, Ross is an NCTJ-qualified journalist. Having previously lived in Madrid, he specialises in Spanish Culture, Sport and Cuisine.


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