30 September: Scotland v Romania (8pm)
1 October: South Africa v Tonga (8pm)
7 October: Ireland v Scotland (8pm)
8 October: Tonga v Romania (4.45pm)
Ireland do not play this weekend with Scotland taking on Romania on Saturday night and South Africa facing Tonga on Sunday.
Things will become slightly clearer after those two games but for the purposes of working out the permuations, we're going to award the Springboks and the Scots five points each from their matches.
That leaves South Africa on 15 points after playing all four of their ties, and Gregor Townsend’s men on 10, with the game against Ireland to come on 7 October.
Ireland currently sit atop Pool B on 14 points.
Any of the following results from Ireland’s clash with Scotland in Paris would mean Andy Farrell’s men would finish clear at the top, and book a quarter-final place with the runners-up from Pool A, which, at this point, would likely be New Zealand.
- A win, even without a bonus point, would suffice, putting Ireland on 18 points. Last March, Ireland beat Scotland 22-7 in Murrayfield, scoring three tries.
- A draw, with or without Ireland scoring four tries, would see the team take two or three points and go to 16 or 17 in the table, too many to be overtaken by anyone.
- Similarly, Ireland could theoretically take two points by losing by seven or fewer and scoring four tries in the game.
It gets more complicated if Ireland lose against Scotland.
A straight up defeat, without a bonus point, would see Ireland knocked out (remember we are giving South Africa five points for their game with Tonga).
That would mean both Scotland and Ireland finish on 14 points and the first criteria is head-to-head, meaning the champions and the Scots finish first and second respectively.
However, should Ireland lose with a bonus point, and deny Scotland a winning bonus point, that would be good enough for Ireland to qualify in first place. Scotland, in that instance, only getting to 14 points.
Another scenario that could play out is if all three finish level on points, most likely 15 (given we presume South Africa get five from Tonga).
That could happen with Scotland beating Ireland with a bonus point and Ireland taking one losing or four-try bonus.
In this case, with each of the three sides having won one against the top three and finishing level, it’s points difference that comes first to decide the placings.
Ireland are +122, South Africa, +86 and Scotland +13.
It's simple for the Dark Blues. They need to win and deny Ireland a bonus point of any description.
If Scotland don’t move up from the bottom of that mini table then they would go out.
We’d then return to head-to-head and Ireland would finish top courtesy of Saturday’s 13-8 victory over South Africa.
27 September: Uruguay v Namibia (4.45pm)
29 September: New Zealand v Italy (8pm)
5 October: New Zealand v Uruguay (8pm)
6 October: France v Italy (8pm)
France, after three wins, will go through as top dogs if they beat Italy in the final pool game.
A loss to the Azzurri could put their progress in jeopardy if New Zealand beat Italy and Uruguay.
However, if Italy were to beat the All Blacks on Saturday, the three-time winners would be out.
New Zealand could also go out, in the pool stages for the first time ever, if their clash with Italy ended in a draw with Italy getting a bonus point and the All Blacks failing to get more than two points.
Namibia are out, while Uruguay need a 10-point return from their games, while hoping other results go their way.
30 September: Fiji v Georgia (4.45pm)
1 October: Australia v Portugal (4.45pm)
7 October: Wales v Georgia (2pm)
8 October: Fiji v Portugal (8pm)
Wales are safely through and will claim top spot if they take two or more points from their match with Georgia on 7 October.
Fiji will qualify by taking five points in total from their two games, against Georgia and Portugal.
Eddie Jones' Wallabies will likely get to 11 points, if they get a bonus-point win over Portugal, but are relying on Fiji to mess up. I.e. only take four points from their remaining fixtures.
Georgia and Portugal are still able to qualify mathematically but need to cause big shocks.
28 September: Japan v Samoa (8pm)
30 September: Argentina v Chile (2pm)
7 October: England v Samoa (4.45pm)
8 October: Japan v Argentina (12pm)
England are well placed to qualify and need to avoid defeat to Samoa on their final game to go through.
An outside threat to Steve Borthwick’s men comes if they, Samoa and Argentina finish on 14 points but their points difference in healthy in that regard, too.
If one of Samoa or Japan win their last two matches with bonus points, that team will go through.
If they fail to achieve that, with games against Japan and England, and Samoa and Argentina, respectively, then the Pumas are back in the race.
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Watch live coverage of Japan v Samoa (28 September), Argentina v Chile and Fiji v Georgia (30 September) and South Africa v Tonga (1 October) on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.