She ensured this offensive bonus that sends them almost to the quarter-finals. Almost, but not yet mathematically. Large winner of Tonga on Sunday night (49-18) with seven tries scored at the Velodrome in Marseille, South Africa provisionally took the lead in Group B with now 15 points, ahead of Ireland and Scotland. And as these two nations, who have 14 and 10 points respectively, are due to face each other on Saturday 7 October at the Stade de France, the Springboks have a very good chance of pocketing one of the two tickets for the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
But a highly unlikely scenario would eliminate the defending champions, exempt next weekend. The Scots would have to win with the offensive bonus, by scoring at least four tries, and the Irish would have to lose by taking the same bonus point. The trio would finish with 15 points, which would result in a "triangular" to qualify. In theory, the first rule is to take into account the winner of the direct confrontation.
Problem in this case, everyone would have a victory and a defeat. The South Africans dominated the Scots (18-3) in the first weekend of this World Cup in France, while the Irish beat them (13-8) on September 23. In this case, World Rugby regulations state that it is necessary to refer to the point-average to determine the winner of the pool. And if the XV of the Thistle wins by more than 25 points at the Stade de France on Saturday, it would do better than its other two rivals and finish first.
"It's called an arranged match and I don't believe it"
Still following? It would then be necessary to decide between Ireland and the Springboks. And in this case, the first criterion of direct confrontation would take precedence, which would give second place to the Irish. And would eliminate the South Africans. What to imagine an agreement between the two European nations to arrive at this completely unlikely scenario? The question was put to Jacques Nienaber, who had to repeat it to be sure he understood correctly.
"If I think they could agree to have a certain points gap and take South Africa out? I hope not. It's called a match-fixing, and I don't believe it. Rugby is clean, we wore these T-shirts (warm-up jerseys were distributed to teams to defend World Rugby's anti-doping program). That would be very disappointing, wouldn't it? »
"Anything is possible," said Springboks scrum-half Cobus Reinach. But we did what we had to do on our side. And quite frankly, it should be more than enough to offer them a quarter-final, probably against the Blues, on October 15.