By Mitch Phillips
TOKYO (Reuters) - A look at the quarter-final qualification scenarios on the final weekend of pool-stage action at the Rugby World Cup with potential impact of further Typhoon Hagibis cancellations.
Also note updated situation in Pool A should three teams finish level on points at the top.
Tournament organisers will decide on Sunday whether the Japan v Scotland game scheduled for later on Sunday will go ahead in Yokohama, having inspected the damage from Typhoon Hagibis and checked the transport situation.
If it is called off, each team will be awarded two points and the match will be recorded as a 0-0 draw, with no bonus points available.
That would guarantee Japan (currently on 14 points) top place and Ireland (11 points) would take second place with a win, or even a losing bonus point, in their game Samoa on Saturday. Scotland (currently 10 points) would be eliminated.
Ireland (11 points) can guarantee progress with a bonus-point victory over Samoa (5).
An Irish win without a bonus point could open the way for a three-way tie at the top on 15 points if Sunday's game goes ahead.
In that scenario, the deadlock would be initially settled by total points difference, which currently stands at Scotland (+71), Ireland (+52) and Japan (+46).
If Scotland still have the higher difference after the last two matches, they would top the group. For second place and the other ticket to the quarter-finals, the process reverts to head-to-head results and would send Japan through thanks to their win over Ireland.
Should Ireland end with the best overall points difference, they would top the group and Scotland would go through in second place after what would be their win over Japan.
If Scotland beat Japan with no bonus points for either side, they would pip the hosts on the head-to-head result and progress.
Depending on the Ireland result, Scotland could also advance with a bonus point win - assuming Japan do not collect two bonus points in defeat.
If Japan gain a losing bonus point and Scotland fail to claim a bonus point, Japan would finish above the Scots and advance to the knockout stage in first or second place.
Victory or a draw for Japan would seal top spot, but they would also go through as pool winners if they lose to Scotland by seven points or less but score four tries, delivering a rare two bonus points.
Four years ago Japan won three games but finished third in their pool because of bonus points, pipped to qualification by Scotland and South Africa - the only time a team has won three pool matches and not progressed.
Likely outcome: Ireland to qualify with bonus-point victory over Samoa. Too close to call on who joins them.
After the cancellation of New Zealand's game against Italy, the top three places are settled. New Zealand (16) top the group, with South Africa (15) runners-up. Italy (12) finish third.
New Zealand will play the Pool A runners-up, with South Africa playing the Group A winners.
Things are also settled here after England v France was cancelled. England (17) and France (15) are through to the last eight. Group winners England will play the runners-up from Pool D, probably Australia, with France likely to play Wales.
Australia (16) and Wales (14) are guaranteed a place in the last eight but the pool's final match - Wales v Uruguay (4) on Sunday - could also still fall foul of the weather.
If it is cancelled, Wales would collect two points to finish level with Australia but would get top spot due to beating them earlier in the tournament.
If the game goes ahead, any sort of win for Wales would also put them top, although they would still top the group in the unlikely scenario of them picking up two losing bonus points.
Fiji (7) finished third to secure automatic qualification for the 2023 World Cup.
Likely outcome: Wales to win last game against Uruguay, top the group and play France in last eight. Australia would then play England.
Oct. 19 England v Runner-up Pool D
New Zealand v Runner-up Pool A
Oct. 20 Winner Pool D v France
Winner Pool A v South Africa
Oct. 26 Winner QF1 v Winner QF2
Oct. 27 Winner QF3 v Winner QF4
Nov. 1 Third place playoff
Nov. 2 Final
(Reporting by Mitch Phillips; Editing by Ken Ferris/Amlan Chakraborty)