The 20 Teams will be allocated to four pools of five Teams each in accordance with
the RWC 2007 draw. The pool phase will consist of a round robin in which each
Team shall play each other Team within the pool once. There shall be 10 Matches
played in each pool, for a total of 40 Matches in the pool phase of the Tournament.
Match points system.
The following number of Match points will be awarded for each pool phase Match:
Win 4 points
Draw 2 points
4 or more tries 1 point
Loss by 7 points or less 1 point
No Match points will be awarded to a Team which has been expelled from the
Tournament, refuses to play a Match or abandons a Match in progress, without
direction from Match Officials or the RWC Match Commissioner, subject to the
provisions of the Terms of Participation.
When no Match points are awarded to a Team for a given Match, its opponent in that
Match shall be awarded a win and therefore four Match points.
Where a Team is expelled from the Tournament, it shall forfeit all Match points
previously awarded, and its opponents in each Match previously played shall be
awarded four Match points (which shall replace any Match points previously awarded
from the particular Match). All points scored for and against in these Matches shall be
discounted in the official pool rankings and Team records used for Tournament
Rankings at the completion of the pool phase
At the completion of the pool phase, the Teams in a pool are ranked one through five
based on their cumulative Match points, and identified respectively as winner, runner
up, third, fourth and fifth.
If at the completion of the pool phase two or more Teams are level on Match points,
then the following criteria shall be used in the following order until one of the Teams
can be determined as the higher ranked:
i. The winner of the Match in which the two tied Teams have played each other
shall be the higher ranked;
ii. The Team which has the best difference between points scored for and points
scored against in all its pool Matches shall be the higher ranked;
iii. The Team which has the best difference between tries scored for and tries
scored against in all its pool Matches shall be the higher ranked;
iv. The Team which has scored most points in all its pool Matches shall be the
v. The Team which has scored most tries in all its pool Matches shall be the
vi. Should the tie be unresolved at the conclusion of steps (i) through (v), the Team
that is higher ranked in the updated Official IRB World Rankings on October 1,
Qualification / elimination at the conclusion of the pool phase
The winner and runner-up in each pool shall be qualified for the quarter-finals. Teams
ranked third, fourth and fifth shall be eliminated from the Tournament.
The first two Teams in each pool will progress to the quarter-final round, which will be
contested by knockout Matches. The quarter-final Matches will be determined as
QF 1 - Winner pool B v Runner up pool A
QF 2 - Winner pool C v Runner up pool D
QF 3 - Winner pool A v Runner up pool B
QF 4 - Winner pool D v Runner up pool C
Teams winning quarter-final Matches shall qualify for the semi-finals, and Teams
losing quarter-final Matches shall be eliminated from the Tournament.
The semi-final Matches will be contested by knockout Matches, as follows:
SF 1 - Winner QF1 v Winner QF2
SF 2 - Winner QF3 v Winner QF4
The winners of the semi-final Matches shall qualify for the Final, and the losers of the
semi-final Matches shall contest the Bronze Final.
If Teams are tied at fulltime, the Match will be deemed a draw and the respective
Match points shall be awarded to each Team.
For quarter final Matches, semi-final Matches, the Bronze Final and the Final, if
Teams are tied at fulltime, then the winner shall be determined through the following
i. Extra time - following an interval of 5 minutes, extra time of 10 minutes each
way (with an interval of 5 minutes) shall be played;
ii. Sudden death - if the scores are tied at the conclusion of extra time, and
following an interval of 5 minutes, then a further extra time of 10 minutes
maximum shall be played. During this period the first Team to score any points
shall be declared the winner (sudden death);
iii. Kicking competition - if after this sudden death period no winner can be
declared, a kicking competition will be organised between the two Teams as
described in the section below. The winner of that competition shall be
declared the winner of the Match.
If at the end of a knockout Match, after extra time and sudden death periods of play
have been completed, the Teams remain tied, then the referee will conduct a placekicking competition to determine the winner of the Match, according to the following procedures:
1. All players and Match Officials will remain on the playing enclosure. The referee
will call the captains of the two Teams to the centre circle and will conduct a coin
toss. The winner of the coin toss then may either choose which Team kicks first
(in which case the loser chooses the end at which all kicks will be taken) or
choose the end at which all kicks will be taken (in which case the loser chooses
which Team kicks first).
2. Only players on the playing enclosure at the time of the completion of the sudden
death period may take part in the kicking competition. No injured, substituted or
dismissed player may take part at any time. The order in which the players kick
does not have to be predetermined.
3. The Match Officials and Team Members will assemble on the halfway line. Team
Members must remain behind the halfway line in the side of the playing area not
used. No one except the referee, two touch judges and two ball boys is allowed in
the part of the playing area being used for the competition.
4. The five players from each Team will place kick from three different areas, all on
the 22 metre line, as follows:
First area: directly in front of the posts
Second area: on the 15 metre line on the left hand side facing the posts
Third area: on the 15 metre line on the right hand side facing the posts
5. The referee will start the competition by calling the first player selected from the
Team kicking first to the first kicking point. Once the player has taken the kick, the
referee calls a player from the opposing Team to kick from the same area.
6. The next two players (one from each Team) will kick from the second area in turn.
This will continue until all five players from each Team have kicked (the next
players kicking respectively from the third area, first area and finally the second
area), or until one Team is unable to equal the score of the other Team within the
remaining number of kicks.
7. If there are an equal number of successful kicks once each Team has completed
its five kicks, the competition continues on a “sudden death” basis, following the
same order of kickers used in the first five kicks.
8. The competition will continue two kicks at a time (one from each side), going
progressively through the three kicking areas stated above (and repeating the
process if necessary) until one player succeeds with a kick and the player from
the other side taking the same kick misses it. Once this occurs, the Team of the
player who succeeded with the kick will be declared the winner.
9. Throughout the kicking competition:
9.1 Once a player has been handed the ball on the kicking area, he must take
the kick within one minute. Should he take longer, the referee shall
declare the kick void and therefore a miss.
9.2 After each kick, the referee records the number of the player and whether
or not the attempt was successful. The RWC Match Commissioner will
record the same details on the official Match Report.
9.3 Whether or not a goal is scored from each attempt is the sole decision of
the referee, who may at his sole discretion rely on the assistance of his
touch judges. The referee’s decision shall be final and binding.
9.4 Once a player has completed their kick, they shall return to stand with
their Team behind the halfway line in the side of the playing area not