What happens if a Rugby World Cup quarter-final finishes in a draw? - Ruck

What happens if a Rugby World Cup quarter-final finishes in a draw?

As the Rugby World Cup enters its quarter-finals, history is in the making, but the consensus among many pundits is that we can anticipate fiercely contested matches.

The knockout stage introduces the possibility of a draw, a relatively uncommon occurrence in rugby. Munster fans who vividly remember the nail-biting penalty kick loss to Toulouse two seasons ago are well aware of the tension that can unfold.

So, let’s delve into the scenario of what unfolds if the teams in the final eight find themselves deadlocked at the end of 80 minutes.


Initially, there will be a five-minute break for recovery, followed by 20 minutes of additional playtime divided into two 10-minute halves, with a five-minute intermission.

Both teams are required to stay on the field for the entire duration. Before the game starts, the referee will conduct a coin toss to decide which team kicks off and the direction of play.

Sudden death

In the event that the teams remain tied after 100 minutes, there will be an additional five-minute break followed by a 10-minute sudden death period.

The teams will switch sides, and the team that initiated the extra-time period will also start the sudden death period.

The first team to score a point during this period is declared the victor and advances to the semi-finals.

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Kicking competition

If the match remains undecided at the conclusion of sudden death, the next stage involves a penalty shootout.

Four match balls will be made available to the teams, and the organizers will specify the end of the stadium from which the kicks will be taken.

All players and match officials must remain within the playing area. The referee will conduct a coin toss to determine the order of penalty kicks.

Only those players who were on the field at the end of the game are eligible to take penalties. The team captain must nominate five players to take penalties and specify the order in which they will do so.

The penalty kicks will be executed from three designated positions: Position 1, situated in front of the goalposts; Position 2, on the 15-meter line to the left of the goalposts; and Position 3, on the 15-meter line to the right of the goalposts.

Kicker 1 takes the first kick from Position 1, Kicker 2 takes the second kick from Position 2, Kicker 3 takes the third kick from Position 3, Kicker 4 reverts to Position 1, and Kicker 5 takes the fifth kick from Position 2.

If the score remains tied after these initial five kicks, the competition continues in a sudden death format, with the same sequence of kickers and positions as the first five kicks.

Players have one minute to take their penalty kick once they receive the ball from the referee.

In the event that a player sustains an injury during the penalty shootout, they may be substituted by another player from their team who was on the field at the conclusion of the game.

“Northern powerhouse” – Sir Clive Woodward expects England to beat Fiji in quarter-finals

Following 40 matches spanning five weeks, the pool stage of the 2023 Rugby World Cup has drawn to a close, and the quarter-final matchups have been determined.

In Pool A, France and New Zealand secured their berths, while Pool B saw Ireland and South Africa emerge as qualifiers. Pool C featured Wales and Fiji as the advancing teams, and in Pool D, England and Argentina earned their places in the quarter-finals.

Sir Clive Woodward, the renowned coach of the England rugby team, shares his predictions for all four upcoming matches on Mail Online.

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Wales v Argentina

Woodward said: “Warren Gatland has done an amazing job to take Wales from where they were in the Six Nations to the quarter-finals. To top a pool at any World Cup is an impressive feat and Wales have done it with 19 points from a possible 20.”

He added: “he Pumas hadn’t been at their best in France and although they were much more like themselves against Japan yesterday, Wales won’t be afraid.”

Prediction: Wales win

Warren Gatland, Head Coach of Wales is interviewed during the 2023 Guinness Six Nations Media Launch at County Hall, Lambeth, London on Monday 23rd January 2023 | Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK.