The 2019 Rugby World Cup has been unprecedented in various ways. What might the semi-finals hold, then?
This article was first published by Extra Time Media
A curious trend emerged in the quarter-finals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The four fixtures produced both one of the closest ever in terms of points difference (Wales vs France with one point) and the second-biggest (New Zealand vs Ireland with 32 points, behind only New Zealand's 62-13 hammering of France in 2015).
Both South Africa's win over Japan and England's over Australia made it into the top 10 of the largest ever wins in the QFs of a Rugby World Cup.
While it made little difference to the overall for and against averages, the difference is especially notable since the total average points scored in the pool stages (93) is the lowest it has been since 1995 (63).
Of course, statistics don't do justice to the infinite complexities that determine the outcome of a fixture. Red cards, yellow cards that some might say should have been red, cards not given at all... you know the drill.
But statistics can be useful in offering a cursory glance into the future - especially when...