2023 Rugby World Cup – Oceania qualification

Qualifying for the 2023 Rugby World Cup for Oceania Rugby began in July 2021, where 3 teams competed for one direct qualification spot into the final tournament and for a place in a cross-regional play-off match.

2023 Rugby World Cup – Oceania qualification
Tournament details
Dates10 July 2021 – 24 July 2021
No. of nations7
2019
2027

FormatEdit

Oceania Rugby was granted one direct qualification berth, and was awarded to the winner on aggregate of a Samoa–Tonga home and away play-off (Oceania 1). The loser then progressed to a straight play-off match against the winner of the 2021 Oceania Rugby Cup to advance as Oceania 2 to a cross-regional play-off against Asia 1.[1] All matches were held in New Zealand due to COVID-19 restrictions and rates in the region.

EntrantsEdit

Seven teams had meant to compete during for the Oceania qualifiers for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, but later reduced to only 3 after the cancelation of the 2021 Oceania Rugby Cup; teams World Rankings are prior to the first Oceania qualification match on 10 July while nations in bold denote teams that have previously played in a Rugby World Cup.

Nation Rank Began play Qualifying status
  Australia 7 N/A Qualified with Top 12 finish at 2019 World Cup
  Cook Islands 53 24 July Eliminated by Tonga on 24 July 2021
  Fiji 11 N/A Qualified with Top 12 finish at 2019 World Cup
  New Zealand 2 N/A Qualified with Top 12 finish at 2019 World Cup
  Niue 98 N/A Eliminated with 2021 Oceania Rugby Cup Cancellation
  Papua New Guinea 83 N/A Eliminated with 2021 Oceania Rugby Cup Cancellation
  Samoa 14 10 July Qualified as Oceania 1 on 17 July 2021
  Solomon Islands 104 N/A Eliminated with 2021 Oceania Rugby Cup Cancellation
  Tahiti 100 N/A Eliminated with 2021 Oceania Rugby Cup Cancellation
  Tonga 13 10 July Advances to Asia/Pacific play-off as Oceania 2 on 24 July 2021

Round 1: 2021 Oceania Rugby CupEdit

Papua New Guinea were due to host the 2021 Oceania Rugby Cup which was due to take place in June 2021. However, in April 2021, the participating unions agreed to cancel the tournament due to the rising impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.[2] With the event's cancellation and the tight timeframe available to determine the region's champion, the World Rugby Rankings were used to confirm the team progressing in the Rugby World Rugby 2023 qualification process, and with the Cook Islands the highest-ranked team at the time, earned progression to Round 3.[3]

Advanced to Round 3
Pos Team Rank
1   Cook Islands 52
2   Papua New Guinea 83
3   Niue 94
4   Tahiti 96
5   Solomon Islands 99

Round 2: Oceania 1 play-offsEdit

Round 2 consisted of a 2-leg play-off series between the highest-ranked participating teams in Oceania; Samoa and Tonga. This series was scheduled to be a home-and-away play-off series in Samoa and Tonga, but due to restrictions in the region, New Zealand became the hub for the qualification round.[4]

The winner of this round, Samoa, qualified as Oceania 1, whilst the loser moved to round 3 to play the Cook Islands in an Oceania 2 play-off decider.

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Samoa   79–28   Tonga 42–13 37–15

Leg 1Edit

10 July 2021
16:30 NZST (UTC+12)
Samoa  42–13  Tonga
Try: Niuia 46' c
Motuga 50' m
Taefu 56' c
Fidow 63' c
Ili 78' c
Con: Taefu (3/4) 47', 57', 64'
Leuila (1/1) 79'
Pen: Taefu (3/3) 23', 36', 43'
Report
WR Report
Try: Taulani 54' c
Con: Takulua (1/1) 55'
Pen: Takulua (2/3) 17', 60'
Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand
Attendance: 3,000
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)

Notes:

Leg 2Edit

17 July 2021
16:00 NZST (UTC+12)
Tonga  15–37  Samoa
Try: Fonokalafi 51' c
Tuipulotu 56' c
Con: Faiva (1/2) 52'
Pen: Faiva (1/1) 4'
Report
WR Report
Try: Fidow 26' c
Taumateine 38' c
Ili 73' c
Tuiloma 79' c
Con: Taefu (3/3) 27', 74', 80'
Iona (1/1) 39'
Pen: Taefu (3/3) 9', 13', 43'
FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
Attendance: 3,000
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand) [a]

Notes:

Round 3: Oceania 2 play-offEdit

The winner of this match, Tonga, advanced to a Asia/Oceania play-off match against Asia 1 (as Oceania 2), with the winner earning the right to qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup as the Asia/Pacific play-off winner.

24 July 2021
17:35 NZST (UTC+12)
Tonga  54–10  Cook Islands
Try: Fifita 18' c
Vaka 24' c
Tuipulotu (2) 36' c, 55' c
Faiva 39' m
Takulua (2) 43' c, 48' c
Mahe 66' c
Con: Faiva (7/8) 20', 25', 37', 44', 49', 56', 68'
Report
WR Report
Try: Tou 27' c
Con: To. Sopoaga (1/1) 28'
Pen: To. Sopoaga (1/2) 10'
Navigation Homes Stadium, Pukekohe, New Zealand
Attendance: 2,000
Referee: Graham Cooper (Australia)

Notes:

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ rugbybworldcup.com. "QUALIFICATION PROCESS SET FOR RUGBY WORLD CUP 2023".
  2. ^ A step closer to the Rugby World Cup
  3. ^ "Cook Islands advance to 2023 Rugby World Cup qualifier after cancellation of Oceania Championships". Pacific Media Network. 30 April 2021. Archived from the original on 30 April 2021.
  4. ^ World Rugby and unions confirm men’s July test schedule

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Swapped appointments with Brendon Pickerill (Australia v France) after travel restrictions changed between Australia and New Zealand and Williams was unable to travel to Australia.

External linksEdit