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The All Blacks were met by hundreds of fans outside their hotel after arriving in Japan for the World Cup.
It’s Steve Hansen’s worst nightmare – a gimme Rugby World Cup pool game against Namibia, Canada or Italy is cancelled because of bad weather and declared a draw.
A certain four points – more likely five with a bonus point awarded for scoring four tries or more – suddenly turns into two points and the heat goes on the race for the quarter-finals.
It’s a real possibility with tournament venue Japan in the middle of typhoon season.
The All Blacks dodged Typhoon Faxai to land in Tokyo on Monday for their last minute Cup preparations. But the weather outside, with at least one person killed in the high winds and rain lashing the city, was a stark warning that this meticulously planned campaign could be taken out of their hands.
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So much focus has gone on the All Blacks’ opening game against South Africa. Yet they could beat the Boks and still end up No 2 in their pool if the worst-case weather scenarios unfold.
Rugby World Cup organisers insist they will do everything possible to help the tight tournament schedule stay in place, including relocating teams from their bases or different match venues should weather not permit.
But the contingency plans aren’t pretty as th
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