Hong Kong’s Direct Entry to Rugby World Cup Thwarted
Hong Kong’s target of achieving direct entry to the IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 was shattered when Japan won the head to head encounter between the two contenders in Tokyo 49-8 on Sunday May 25.
As winners of the Asian Rugby Football Union 5-Nations 2014 competition, Japan get direct entry to Pool-B of the IRB Rugby World Cup (RWC) to be held in England between Sept 18 and Oct 21, 2015. Japan joins South Africa, Samoa, Scotland and USA to complete Pool-B of the competition.
But all is not lost for Hong Kong as it still has a repechage opportunity against Uruguay to be played in Uruguay at a date still to be decided. The winner of this match will then go forward to a two-match play off against the winner of the Europe to Africa Repechage.
Other RWC Qualifiers
Russia pulled off a dramatic last-minute 31-20 victory over Germany to book its Repechage place on Saturday May 24. Germany was leading 20-17 with just a few minutes to the final whistle but Russia put in a late surge producing two converted trys to record its winning score.
Russia’s opponents in the Repechage, the African Qualifier, will not be known until after the finals of the African tournament to be held between Madagascar, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Namibia in Madagascar between June 28 and July 6. The winner of this tournament will progress directly to Pool-C of the Rugby World Cup and the runners-up will play Russia in the Repechage.
Asian RFU 5-Nations Standings
In the other Asian 5-Nations match last weekend, Korea beat Philippines 52-22 to consolidate its 3rd place in the Asian 5-Nations tournament. The final standings in the Asian 5-Nations 2014 competition are Japan (24 points), Hong Kong (18), South Korea (12), Philippines (6) and Sri Lanka (1).