In news that will surely infuriate New Zealand rugby fans, in the event of a typhoon hitting during the knockout stages at the Rugby World Cup, the All Blacks could be on their way home via a points countback – leaving them in a similar fate to the Black Caps at the Cricket World Cup.
The Black Caps tied the Cricket World Cup final with host nation England, however had to head home in second place, after England got the trophy on a boundary countback, after the teams couldn’t be seperated after a Super Over.
Now, if the All Blacks and England get through their respective quarter-finals, they are set to meet in a semifinal, at which point the unlikely scenario could come into play.
With both the All Blacks and England’s last pool games called off due to Typhoon Hagibis, it leaves England on 17 points and the All Blacks on 16.
If the weather was to play a part in the Rugby World Cup semifinal, England would be declared the winner on the basis of having more points then the All Blacks after pool play.
It’s all unlikely, sure, with typhoons unlikely to strike Japan again during the World Cup, but such a scenario would leave surely New Zealand rugby fans enraged, as the All Blacks would have likely beaten the Italians with a bonus point. England were set to take on France in their cancelled pool match. If these games went ahead, the All Blacks and England could have been tied after pool play.
If this was the case, the next tiebreaker is point difference, which the All Blacks have the advantage on 135-99 – a margin that would have almost certainly grown after the final pool games.
If the semifinal was to get underway but called off at halftime or in second half, the side who was ahead would be declared the winner. If the scores were tied when the match was abandoned, the team with the most tries would be the winner.
Just to add more suspense to the game, if the game was tied after 80 minutes then extra time would be wheeled out with two 10-minute halves. If this doesn’t separate the sides then it will go to sudden death 10-minutes of play, before we go to a kicking competition.
If the match was abandoned before halftime, then it would be played on reserve days. If the reserve days had to be cancelled then we would go back to the dreaded countback to the pool play.
It’s a long stretch that this will happen, but stranger things have happened in rugby.