Three games yesterday, two of them fairly nondescript affairs, means that every side has now played at least thrice at RWC19. That's the signal for another rollout of Fact or Fiction.
TYPHOON HAGIBIS HAS AFFECTED THE INTEGRITY OF RWC19
In what is a calamity for World Rugby and the tournament organisers, the looming super typhoon has seen the cancellation of pivotal pool matches, including the All Blacks clash against Italy and England's showdown with the revolting French.
This scenario was both feared and anticipated, not that it makes it any less galling.
Spare a thought, too, for those who have travelled great distances at enormous cost to see "their" teams in action. Stand in those shoes and try not to feel a sense of outrage.
FACT: It seems pointless laying blame for factors beyond any one person's control, but you can bet in the coming days and weeks that's what we'll do.
As much as it pains to write this, it has to be said: the cancellations badly damage the tournament's credibility and, worse, its integrity.
The key word here is fair. The 2019 Rugby World Cup is now officially unfair.
Take the case of the All Blacks for example. With all the humility in the world, Steve Hansen and co would have known they were certainties to qualify for the knockouts once they defeated South Africa.
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Much of their planning would have revolved around having a settled squad peaking for a clash against Ireland, Scotland or Japan in Tokyo next Saturday.
Those plans are in disarray now. The quarter-final will be the first "competitive" match they have played for 28 days.
That is a shambolic state of affairs.
It seems crazy, but South Africa, due to the order of their games and the shenanigans in Pool A, have benefited massively from losing to the All Blacks.
Obviously the All Blacks are not the only team adversely affected, not by a long chalk, but theirs is a good example of how damaging the typhoon has been to this World Cup.
(And no, this does not seek to minimise the "real world" dangers posed by Hagibis, but this is a column specifically about rugby.)
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CARDS HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO CREATE A SHAMBLES
At the time of writing there had been 32 matches played at the World Cup and 27 cards issued, six of them of a terminal colour. According to World Rugby there should have been more, so appalled were the sport's burghers at the lenience showed over the opening weekend (which, not coincidentally, was the best two days of this tournament so far).
Right now, as you read this, there are referees in hotel lobbies brandishing cards to concierges for not taking their bags up to their rooms quickly enough.
The World Cup has gone card crazy.
It already feels like this tournament should have an * next to it because of the typhoon chaos, and the card issue only bolsters the argument that this is a compromised tournament.
Crucial matches have effectively been ruined by cards, most notably England v Argentina, where the combustible Tomas Lavanini was red-carded for a high shot on Owen Farrell.
Minnows like the USA and Canada who were fighting against the tide anyway have been left hopelessly stranded when reduced to 14 men.
To be clear, it is not the referees' fault. They are under instruction. The complicating factor is that's it is not even necessarily bad instruction.
Player welfare has to be at the centre of the room. The desire to get the point of contact lower is noble. The days of no-arms tackles and cleanouts should be put in the rearview.
Yet this is a high-speed collision sport and errors of judgment are going to be made when 100kg-plus men change direction quickly, whether that be laterally or longitudinally. The latter element is particularly problematic. When players fall into contact, tackles that started legitimately suddenly become impeachable offences.
Rugby is a really silly, borderline unwatchable game when the numbers are uneven. Sometimes that is inevitable, step forward spear-tackling Italy prop Andrea Lovotti, but too often at this tournament the punishment has outweighed the crime.
The idea that this tournament could effectively be decided by a tackler making a technical mistake – a mistake that is then slowed down frame by frame and adjudicated on by a nerd watching TV – is difficult to stomach.
World Rugby should be commended on their commitment to safety, but they need a new method for paying penance.
THE BLUES ARE TO BLAME FOR THE RIEKO MESS
It was not long ago when we assumed that Rieko Ioane would be one of the stars of the World Cup.
Now it's feasible that he won't have a meaningful role to play once the knockouts start.
It has been a precipitous fall from grace for the 2017 World Rugby breakthrough player of the year, who at just 22 of age has an extraordinary 24 tries from just 28 tests.
Even his last start, a muddling effort against an overmatched Canada, came with a five-pointer.
There have been reasons provided for his lack of form from the tangible, nagging leg injuries, to the harder to define, which is where the Blues come in.
It has been posited that Ioane's confidence has taken a knock after another season of Super Rugby struggle with New Zealand's one low-functioning franchise.
FICTION: It is trendy to blame the hapless Blues for all the Auckland-based ills of the world from the ongoing shambles that is the Takanini roadworks to the cost of a latte at a woke Kingsland café.
Certainly, if you were on the fringes of All Black selection, then playing for the Blues is probably not doing you any favours but in Ioane's case he was an established star.
The Blues woes do not seem to have affected the form of Sonny Bill Williams and Ofa Tuungafasi and while it seemed like they might be grinding Patrick Tuipulotu down, he has recently shown career-best form.
Ioane is a young man who has until this year never had to deal with on-field adversity. He hasn't dealt with it particularly well but he will come again, his talent demands it.
ARGENTINA HAVE BEEN THE FLOPS OF THE TOURNAMENT
Conventional wisdom had it that Los Pumas would shift from World Cup giant-killers to World Cup giants once they had become established in the Rugby Championship.
Instead they have lost two pool matches and failed to advance to the knockouts for the first time since 2003.
FICTION: There are 10 Tier One nations and only eight quarter-final slots so two are always going to miss out.
One of them will always be Italy, who are Tier One in name only , which means there will always be one pool of death with three functioning Tier One teams. In 2015, it was a pool that had England, Wales and Australia and this year Argentina, England and France drew the short straw in Pool C.
England have been a lot better prepared this time around to deal with the pressure so, in effect, when France and Argentina met in their opening match, it was a virtual knockout.
Those wearing blue-and-white hoops can feel genuinely aggrieved as to how that match ended. They can only blame themselves for their dire start but few would argue that by game's end they had firmly established themselves as the better side everywhere except where it counted – the scoreboard.
Argentina were disappointing against England but there were extenuating circumstances there, too (see the section under cards). Disappointing is the best word to describe this campaign. "Flop" is a tad too harsh.