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A paramount question approaching this year's Rugby World Cup is what happens in case of ties in the initial pool, and also, in the later stages?

Point System First - The Pools

There are specific points awarded for the matches as follows:

  • WIN = 4 points
  • DRAW = 2 points
  • FOUR OR MORE TRIES = 1 point
  • A LOSS OF LESS THAN 7 POINTS = 1 point

Utilizing this system, at the end of the pool round, the team with the most points will be declared the winner. The team with the second most points will be the runner up.

Ties in the Pools

But supposing two teams achieve the same point total. Then, the following determines who wins, and who finished second in a hierarchy of outcomes.

  • The winner of the pool match between the two teams;
  • Point differential;
  • Who has more tries scored minus tries against;
  • Total match points scored in pool play;
  • Higher total of tries; and,
  • If no declared winner from the above results, then the winner will be the team that was ranked higher by World Rugby as of October 12, 2015.

Knock Out Matches and Final

In the quarterfinals, the semi-finals, and the final, in case of a tie game at end of play, the following occurs:

  • Twenty minute extra time period;
  • Ten minute sudden death period; and,
  • Then, if still la tie, a kicking competition:
    - Five designated players from each team kick from three defined marks on the 22-meter line (left, center, and right) for a total of 15 kicks,

           - If tied, then a sudden death kicking contest, which ends when one team succeeds, and the other fails.

Final Notes

Remember that the official draw for the pools was conducted in October 2012 when rankings were significantly different.  This explains why Pool A contains four of the top ten teams, while the other three pools list only two each top ten teams.  It may seem unfair (especially, to Fiji) but World Rugby needed to specify a stadium, day, and date schedule to run the tournament efficiently, and also, to allow fans to purchase tickets and make travel plans.



"World Rugby needed to specify a stadium, day, and date schedule to run the tournament efficiently" This is a fascinating admission of incompetence. Somehow FIFA is able to seed their world cup a mere seven months in advance. Somehow FIFA also manages to keep track of all of the teams in qualifying. Still, I wouldn't incompetence for FIFA's evil. We may have a badly seeded world cup, but I can't imagine WR ever being complicit in slavery.