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TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on Day 22 at the Rugby World Cup (all times local):
World Rugby has rebuked Scotland for trying to force Rugby World Cup organizers to guarantee its decisive pool match with host Japan is played on Sunday.
Scotland needs to beat unbeaten Japan to reach the quarterfinals, while Japan could advance to its first quarterfinal with a draw. The match is scheduled for Yokohama, which is expected to be hit hard on Saturday by Typhoon Hagibis.
The two matches in the area on Saturday, New Zealand-Italy and France-England, were cancelled for safety reasons. Cancelled matches are logged as draws in the standings.
The Scots reacted with a statement expecting “contingency plans” from organizers to ensure their pool game goes ahead, despite there being no allowance for contingency plans for any pool games that have to be called off. The Scots then reportedly threatened legal action on Friday if their match with Japan is cancelled.
“It is disappointing that the Scottish Rugby Union should make such comments,” World Rugby said in a statement, “at a time when we are doing everything we can to enable all Sunday’s matches to take place as scheduled, and when there is a real and significant threat to public safety owing to what is predicted to be one of the largest and most destructive typhoons to hit Japan since 1958.”
World Rugby noted that Scotland, like all other 19 teams, signed the terms of participation agreeing that if a match can’t be played on the day it is scheduled, then it will not be postponed to the following day and will be considered cancelled.
The governing body said it looked into breaking the terms and rescheduling all eight matches from Friday to Sunday, but “the complexity of team movements for eight matches, meant that an even-handed application was just not possible without putting safety at risk. Therefore, it was the fair and correct decision for all teams to maintain the position outlined in the terms of participation.”
World Rugby said it wouldn’t comment further because “we are fully focused on the safety of everyone and this weekend’s matches.”
Australia has finished off the pool stage with a 27-8 bonus-point win only secured with two late tries against a committed Georgia in wet and windy conditions at Shizuoka.
Australia had almost 80% of possession and 85% of the territory in the first half and led only 10-3 at the break, with scrumhalf Nic White burrowing over for the only try in the 22nd minute and flyhalf Matt Toomua landing the conversion and a penalty goal.
The Australians were already qualified for the quarterfinals but still needing a hit-out to prepare for a likely quarterfinal against England. The Georgians provided a genuine contest, making 128 tackles in the first half to put up a defensive wall as the Wallabies struggled to translate an attacking game plan in slippery conditions.
A solo try from winger Marika Koroibete was a highlight on the hour, and put the Australians out of reach of an upset loss to the Georgians.
Alexander Todua sprinted into the corner to score Georgia’s only try in the 70th minute, but the Australians responded with two tries in the last five minutes to flanker Jack Dempsey and replacement scrumhalf Will Genia.
An error-prone Australia is leading 10-3 at halftime after struggling in slippery conditions against a committed Georgia in the Pool D game at Shizuoka.
The two-time World Cup winner was expected to be further ahead but was hampered by poor handling in the wet and finished the half with 14 men after No. 8 Isi Naisarani was yellow-carded for a shoulder-led contact with the head of Georgia veteran Mamuka Gorgodze in the 35th minute.
Australia scored the only try when scrumhalf Nic White burrowed over in the 22nd minute. Matt Toomua landed the conversion and added a penalty goal in the 38th.
Soso Matiashvili scored Georgia’s points with a penalty goal in the 28th.
Uruguay has made nine changes to the starting lineup that lost to Australia for its last Pool D match against Wales on Sunday in Kumamoto.
Tight forwards German Kessler, Diego Arbelo, and Manuel Leindekar, and backs Felipe Berchesi, Nicolas Freitas and Andres Vilaseca are the only players who repeat as starters.
Of the six, all but Arbelo are making their fourth start in the tournament.
Centers Vilaseca and Juan Manuel Gaminara will be making a team record eighth Rugby World Cup appearance. Agustin Ormaechea and Rodrigo Silva could join them if they come off the bench.
Uruguay has beaten Fiji and lost to Georgia and Australia so far.
Lineup: Gaston Mieres, Leandro Leivas, Juan Manuel Cat, Andres Vilaseca, Nicolas Freitas, Felipe Berchesi, Santiago Arata; Alejandro Nieto, Santiago Civetta, Juan Manuel Gaminara (captain), Manuel Leindekar, Ignacio Dotti, Diego Arbelo, German Kessler, Mateo Sanguinetti. Reserves
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