Rugby World Cup: Japan-Scotland match goes ahead after Typhoon Hagibis

Rugby World Cup: Japan-Scotland match goes ahead after Typhoon Hagibis

Japan's national rugby union team players wade through floodwater at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stad
Japan's national rugby union team players wade through floodwater at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium in Tokyo, Japan October 12, 2019 in this still image obtained from a social media video. JRFU via REUTERS

TOKYO: The under-threat Rugby World Cup game between Japan and Scotland will go ahead as scheduled, tournament organisers said on Sunday (Oct 13), after an inspection of the Yokohama Stadium where it is due to be played later in the day.

"Full assessment confirms venue ready to host big Pool A match," organisers said in a statement, urging fans to arrive early amid continued transport disruption.

The decisive Pool A match had been in doubt after two Saturday fixtures were cancelled due to safety concerns surrounding Typhoon Hagibis which killed at least 11 people as it left a trail of destruction in central Japan.

READ: Canadian players help typhoon recovery efforts in Japan

READ: Japan sends in thousands of troops after Typhoon Hagibis hammers Tokyo

Wales beat Uruguay 35-13 to confirm a quarter-final with France, and Tonga overcame USA 31-19 in the two other games given the all-clear after Saturday's storm, one of the worst to hit Japan in recent years.

A poignant moment's silence was held before both games to remember the victims of Hagibis, whose "unprecedented" heavy rain triggered deadly landslides and caused rivers to burst their banks.

Sunday's game between Namibia and Canada in Kamaishi was called off because of damage caused in the area by the storm.

Cancellation was a blow for the northern town of Kamaishi, whose hosting of World Cup games was a potent symbol of recovery from a 2011 tsunami disaster when it was nearly wiped off the map.

It also robs Namibia of a chance to grab their first World Cup win and end their record run of 22 games at the tournament without a victory. Canada are without a win in their last 10 World Cup matches.

The cancellation means that only one game was held at the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium - Uruguay's stunning, 30-27 upset of Fiji in Pool D.

READ: Tokyo, central Japan left devastated by Typhoon Hagibis
READ: Typhoon Hagibis kills 7 in Japan as rescue efforts intensify

Fifteen people remain missing after the most powerful typhoon to hit Japan in decades paralyzed Tokyo, flooding rivers and leaving almost half a million homes without power.

Authorities lifted rain and flood warnings for the Kanto region around a becalmed Tokyo before dawn as the typhoon plowed up Japan's northeast coast. Warnings for areas north of the capital began to be lifted by Sunday morning.

Hagibis made landfall on Saturday evening and barrelled across the country, bringing fierce winds and torrential rain.

It was a direct hit on Tokyo and Yokohama, a city of some three million just south of the capital.

Typhoon Hagibis was expected to head out to sea on Sunday evening after churning its way up the northern island of Hokkaido.

It was the first time in the 32-year history of the Rugby World Cup that games had been scrapped, and raised criticism of the decision to hold the tournament during Japan's typhoon season.

Source: Reuters/mn

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