The Rugby World Cup enters the knockout phase this weekend, with Ireland looking to finally reach a semi-final and Japan bidding to cause another upset.
Joe Schmidt’s team may have beaten two-time reigning champions New Zealand in two of their previous three meetings, but Ireland have a rotten record in World Cup quarter-finals.
Hosts Japan face South Africa – the team they stunned in the pool stage four years ago – in their first World Cup quarter-final, while Wales meet France and England take on an Australia side they have an excellent recent record against.
Here, we take a look at the Opta data for the four quarter-final clashes.
England v Australia
6 – England have dominated the Wallabies of late, winning each of their previous half a dozen meetings since Australian Eddie Jones was hired as head coach in 2015.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) October 16, 2019
7 – No player won more turnovers than Maro Itoje’s seven in the pool stage and the England forward only featured in two of his team’s three matches.
29 – Jones’ side averaged 29 kicks in play per game during the pool stage – the most of any team – while Australia, with 13, averaged the fewest.
New Zealand v Ireland
7 – Ireland are in their seventh World Cup quarter-final and have lost all of their previous six matches at this stage – the joint most last-eight losses, along with Scotland.
17 – The All Blacks have won a record 17 consecutive World Cup games coming into this encounter – a run that dates back to a quarter-final defeat to France in 2007.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) October 17, 2019
29 – New Zealand have scored a try in each of their last 29 World Cup matches, last failing to do so in 2003.
Wales v France
8 – In the eight meetings between these two nations since Les Bleus beat Wales in the 2011 World Cup semi-finals, Warren Gatland’s team have won seven times. Only the All Blacks have beaten France more often in that span (10 times).
4 – Wales won all four of their pool-stage matches for the first time since 1987. They have never won five World Cup games in a row.
6 – Since the start of 2018, France have lost six Tests in which they have been leading at half-time – the most such defeats of any side in that time. One of those came against Wales when they were 16 points ahead at the interval.
Japan v South Africa
3 – Japan’s 34-32 victory over South Africa at the 2015 World Cup was their first over a Tier One nation. Since then they have won two of their three games against such opponents, beating Ireland and Scotland in this tournament.
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 16, 2019
5 – Kotaro Matsushima is one of the leading try-scorers at this World Cup, along with Wales wing Josh Adams, having crossed five times.
47 – The Springboks won 47 out of 47 lineouts on their own throw in the pool stage, the only side in the tournament to maintain a 100 per cent success rate.
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