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1991 Rugby World Cup

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1991 Rugby World Cup
Tournament details
Host nations England
Dates3 October – 2 November (31 days)
No. of nations16 (33 qualifying)
Final positions
Gold medal blank.svg
Silver medal blank.svg
Third place 
Bronze medal blank.svg
 New Zealand
Tournament statistics
Matches played32
Attendance1,021,827 (31,932 per match)
Top scorer(s)Ireland Ralph Keyes (68)
Most triesFrance Jean-Baptiste Lafond
Australia David Campese
(6 tries each)

The 1991 Rugby World Cup was the second edition of the Rugby World Cup, and was jointly hosted by England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France: at the time, the five European countries who participated in the Five Nations Championship. This was the first Rugby World Cup to be staged in the northern hemisphere, with England the hosts of the final. Also for the first time, qualifying competitions were introduced as the number of entrants had increased from 16 nations four years before to a total of 33 countries. The eight quarter-finalists from 1987 qualified automatically with the remaining eight spots contested through qualifiers by 25 countries. This resulted in only one new side qualifying for the tournament, Western Samoa replacing Tonga. The same 16-team pool/knock-out format was used with just minor changes to the points system. South Africa was again not included because of sanctions imposed on the country by the IRB, due to the government's apartheid policies.

The pool stages produced a major shock when Western Samoa, who were making their debut in the tournament, defeated 1987 semi-finalist Wales 16–13 in Cardiff. Along with the other results in the group, this led to the elimination of Wales, who finished third in Pool 3. Also notable in pool play was that Canada finished second in their pool to qualify for the quarter-finals, which remains their best performance in the World Cup. Fiji, as quarter-finalists four years earlier, had expected to occupy that position, but after the upset loss to Canada and a hammering by France, they lost even their final match against the unfancied Romanian team. Earlier, the opening match had pitted the holders New Zealand against the hosts England: New Zealand overturned a narrow half-time deficit to win the match and the pool, both teams qualifying for the quarter-finals with easy victories in their other matches. Scotland beat Ireland to top their pool, again both teams qualifying.

In the quarter-finals, neither Canada nor Western Samoa proved a match for New Zealand or Scotland, respectively. Meanwhile, England knocked out 1987 finalist France in a bruising encounter. Australia pipped Ireland 19–18 in a thrilling match at Lansdowne Road, with a last-gasp try from fly-half Michael Lynagh coming after the Irish took an unexpected 18–15 lead. The semi-finals produced two tight matches: England overcame Scotland 9–6, a late drop goal deciding a tryless match in a torrential downpour at Murrayfield Stadium, and Australia defeated the defending champions New Zealand 16–6 at Lansdowne Road.

The final was played at Twickenham Stadium in London, and saw Australia triumph 12–6 against England, with a first-half try from prop Tony Daly.


The following 16 teams, shown by region, qualified for the 1991 Rugby World Cup. Of the 16 teams, eight of those places were automatically filled by quarter-finalists from the 1987 World Cup and did not have to play any qualification matches. 25 nations competed in a qualification process designed to fill the remaining eight spots, bringing the total participation to 33 nations. In the event, there was only one change from the 1987 tournament, with Western Samoa appearing in place of Tonga.

Africa Americas Europe Oceania/Asia


England London Scotland Edinburgh Wales Cardiff Republic of Ireland Dublin France Paris
Twickenham Stadium Murrayfield Stadium National Stadium Lansdowne Road Parc des Princes
Capacity: 75,000 Capacity: 67,800 Capacity: 53,000 Capacity: 49,250 Capacity: 48,712
Twickenham rfu.jpg
A pot of gold... - - 718806.jpg
The National Stadium The Arms Park Cardiff.jpg
France Toulouse France Grenoble France Villeneuve d'Ascq France Béziers England Leicester
Stade Ernest-Wallon Stade Lesdiguières Stadium Lille-Metropole Stade de la Méditerranée Welford Road
Capacity: 19,000 Capacity: 18,548* Capacity: 18,185 Capacity: 18,000 Capacity: 16,815
Tribune lienard.jpg
Stadium Nord (Champions League).png
Welford Road, Leicester Tigers.jpg
France Brive France Agen France Bayonne England Gloucester Northern Ireland Belfast
Parc Municipal des Sports Stade Armandie Stade Jean Dauger Kingsholm Ravenhill
Capacity: 16,000 Capacity: 14,000 Capacity: 13,500 Capacity: 12,500 Capacity: 12,300
Stade Amédée Domenech.JPG
STA 0480.jpg
Kingsholm in 2007.jpg
Wales Llanelli Wales Pontypool Wales Pontypridd England Otley
Stradey Park Pontypool Park Sardis Road Cross Green
Capacity: 10,800 Capacity: 14,000 Capacity: 7,200 Capacity: 5,000
Stradey Park.jpg
Pontypool Rugby Ground - - 1760922.jpg
Sardis Road - Pontypridd.jpg
Cross Green rugby ground, Otley.jpg
  • as found in consulted on 7 February 2013 apropos of the pool match between France and Fiji played on 8 October 1991




Pool 1 Pool 2 Pool 3 Pool 4

 New Zealand
 United States


 Western Samoa


As in the 1987 Rugby World Cup the 16 nations were divided into four pools of four nations, with each nation playing their other pool opponents once, every nation playing three times during the pool stages. Nations were awarded 2 points for a win, 1 for a draw and zero for a loss, the top two nations of every pool advanced to the quarter finals. The runners-up of each pool faced the winners of a different pool in the quarter finals. The winners moved on to the semi finals, with the winners then moving onto the final, and the losers of the semi finals contesting a third/fourth place play off.

  • Pool 1 was played in England
  • Pool 2 was played in both Scotland and Ireland, with matches played in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
  • Pool 3 was played in Wales
  • Pool 4 was played in France

Points system

The points system that was used in the pool stage was which was changed from 1987 was as follows:

  • 3 points for a win
  • 2 points for a draw
  • 1 point for playing

A total of 32 matches (24 in the pool stage and eight in the knock-out stage) were played throughout the tournament over 30 days from 3 October 1991 to 2 November 1991.

Pool stage

Pool 1

Team P W D L PF PA Pts
 New Zealand 3 3 0 0 95 39 6
 England 3 2 0 1 85 33 4
 Italy 3 1 0 2 57 76 2
 United States 3 0 0 3 24 113 0
3 October 1991
England  12–18  New Zealand
Pen: Webb (3)
Drop: Andrew
Try: Jones
Con: Fox
Pen: Fox (4)
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 57,000
Referee: Jim Fleming (Scotland)

5 October 1991
Italy  30–9  United States
Try: Barba
Con: Dominguez (4)
Pen: Dominguez (2)
Try: Swords
Con: Williams
Pen: Williams
Cross Green, Otley
Attendance: 7,500
Referee: Owen Doyle (Ireland)

8 October 1991
New Zealand  46–6  United States
Try: Wright (3)
Con: Preston (4)
Pen: Preston (2)
Pen: Williams (2)
Kingsholm, Gloucester
Attendance: 12,000
Referee: Efraim Sklar (Argentina)

8 October 1991
England  36–6  Italy
Try: Guscott (2)
Con: Webb (4)
Pen: Webb (4)
Try: Cuttitta
Con: Dominguez
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 30,000
Referee: Brian Anderson (Scotland)

11 October 1991
England  37–9  United States
Try: Underwood (2)
Con: Hodgkinson (4)
Pen: Hodgkinson (3)
Try: Nelson
Con: Williams
Pen: Williams
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 45,000
Referee: Les Peard (Wales)

13 October 1991
Italy  21–31  New Zealand
Try: Cuttitta
Con: Dominguez (2)
Pen: Dominguez (3)
Report Try: Brooke
Con: Fox (3)
Pen: Fox (3)

Pool 2

Team P W D L PF PA Pts
 Scotland 3 3 0 0 122 36 6
 Ireland 3 2 0 1 102 51 4
 Japan 3 1 0 2 77 87 2
 Zimbabwe 3 0 0 3 31 158 0

6 October 1991
Ireland  55–11  Zimbabwe
Try: Robinson (4)
Popplewell (2)
Con: Keyes (4)
Pen: Keyes (5)
Report Try: Dawson
Pen: Ferreira
Lansdowne Road, Dublin
Attendance: 40,000
Referee: Keith Lawrence (New Zealand)

9 October 1991
Ireland  32–16  Japan
Try: Mannion (2)
Con: Keyes (2)
Pen: Keyes (4)
Report Try: Hayashi
Con: Hosokawa (2)
Lansdowne Road, Dublin
Attendance: 30,000
Referee: Laikini Colati (Fiji)

9 October 1991
Scotland  51–12  Zimbabwe
Try: Tukalo (3)
S. Hastings
Con: Dods (5)
Pen: Dods (2)
Drop: Wylie
Report Try: Garvey (2)
Con: Currin (2)
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Attendance: 35,000
Referee: Don Reordan (United States)

12 October 1991
Scotland  24–15  Ireland
Try: Shiel
Con: G. Hastings (2)
Pen: G. Hastings (3)
Drop: Chalmers
Report Pen: Keyes (4)
Drop: Keyes
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Attendance: 54,000
Referee: Fred Howard (England)

14 October 1991
Japan  52–8  Zimbabwe
Try: Yoshida (2)
Mashuho (2)
Kutsuki (2)
Con: Hosokawa (2)
Pen: Hosokawa (4)
Report Try: Tsimba
Ravenhill, Belfast
Attendance: 9,500
Referee: René Hourquet (France)

Pool 3

Team P W D L PF PA Pts
 Australia 3 3 0 0 79 25 6
 Western Samoa 3 2 0 1 54 34 4
 Wales 3 1 0 2 32 61 2
 Argentina 3 0 0 3 38 83 0
4 October 1991
Argentina  19–32  Australia
Try: Terán (2)
Con: Del Castillo
Pen: Del Castillo
Drop: Arbizu (2)
Try: Campese (2)
Horan (2)
Con: Lynagh (3)
Pen: Lynagh (2)
Stradey Park, Llanelli
Attendance: 11,000
Referee: Dave Bishop (New Zealand)

6 October 1991
Wales  13–16  Western Samoa
Try: Emyr
Con: Ring
Pen: Ring
Report Try: Vaega
Con: Vaea
Pen: Vaea (2)
Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff
Attendance: 45,000
Referee: Patrick Robin (France)

9 October 1991
Australia  9–3  Western Samoa
Pen: Lynagh (3)
Pen: Vaea
Pontypool Park, Pontypool
Attendance: 15,000
Referee: Ed Morrison (England)

9 October 1991
Wales  16–7  Argentina
Try: Arnold
Pen: Ring (3)
Try: García Simón
Pen: Del Castillo
Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff
Attendance: 35,000
Referee: René Hourquet (France)

12 October 1991
Wales  3–38  Australia
Pen: Ring
Try: Roebuck (2)
Con: Lynagh (4)
Pen: Lynagh (2)
Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff
Attendance: 54,000
Referee: Keith Lawrence (New Zealand)

13 October 1991
Argentina  12–35  Western Samoa
Try: Terán
Con: Arbizu
Pen: Laborde
Try: Tagaloa (2)
Lima (2)
Con: Vaea (4)
Pen: Vaea
Sardis Road, Pontypridd
Attendance: 8,500
Referee: Brian Anderson (Scotland)
Replaced by Jim Fleming (Scotland)

Pool 4

Team P W D L PF PA Pts
 France 3 3 0 0 82 25 6
 Canada 3 2 0 1 45 33 4
 Romania 3 1 0 2 31 64 2
 Fiji 3 0 0 3 27 63 0
4 October 1991
France  30–3  Romania
Try: Roumat
Penalty try
Con: Camberabero
Pen: Camberabero (4)
Pen: Nichitean
Stade de la Méditerranée, Béziers
Attendance: 22,000
Referee: Les Peard (Wales)

5 October 1991
Canada  13–3  Fiji
Try: Stewart
Pen: Rees (3)
Drop: Serevi

8 October 1991
France  33–9  Fiji
Try: Lafond (3)
Sella (2)
Con: Camberabero (3)
Pen: Camberabero
Try: Naruma
Con: Koroduadua
Pen: Koroduadua
Stade Lesdiguières, Grenoble
Attendance: 18,548
Referee: Derek Bevan (Wales)

9 October 1991
Canada  19–11  Romania
Try: McKinnon
Con: Mark Wyatt
Pen: Wyatt (2)
Drop: Rees
Try: Lungu
Pen: Nichitean
Stade Ernest-Wallon, Toulouse
Attendance: 10,000
Referee: Sandy MacNeill (Australia)

12 October 1991
Fiji  15–17  Romania
Pen: Turuva (2)
Drop: Rabaka (2)
Try: Ion
Con: Racean
Pen: Nichitean
Parc Municipal des Sports, Brive
Attendance: 8,500
Referee: Owen Doyle (Ireland)

13 October 1991
France  19–13  Canada
Try: Lafond
Con: Camberabero
Pen: Lacroix (2)
Try: Wyatt
Pen: Wyatt
Drop: Rees
Stade Armandie, Agen
Attendance: 15,000
Referee: Stephen Hilditch (Ireland)

Knockout stage

19 October – Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
26 October – Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
 Western Samoa6
19 October – Parc des Princes, Paris
2 November – Twickenham Stadium, London
20 October – Stadium Lille-Metropole, Villeneuve d'Ascq
 New Zealand29
27 October – Lansdowne Road, Dublin
 New Zealand6
20 October – Lansdowne Road, Dublin
 Australia16 Third place
30 October – Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff
 New Zealand13


19 October 1991
France  10–19  England
Try: Lafond
Pen: Lacroix (2)
Report Try: Underwood
Con: Webb
Pen: Webb (3)

19 October 1991
Scotland  28–6  Western Samoa
Try: Jeffrey (2)
Con: Hastings (2)
Pen: Hastings (4)
Report Pen: Vaea
Drop: Bachop
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Attendance: 54,000
Referee: Derek Bevan (Wales)

20 October 1991
Ireland  18–19  Australia
Try: Hamilton
Con: Keyes
Pen: Keyes (3)
Drop: Keyes
Report Try: Campese (2)
Con: Lynagh (2)
Pen: Lynagh
Lansdowne Road, Dublin
Attendance: 54,500
Referee: Jim Fleming (Scotland)

20 October 1991
Canada  13–29  New Zealand
Try: Tynan
Con: Rees
Pen: Wyatt
Report Try: Timu (2)
Con: Fox (3)
Pen: Fox
Stadium Lille-Metropole, Villeneuve d'Ascq
Attendance: 30,360
Referee: Fred Howard (England)


26 October 1991
Scotland  6–9  England
Pen: G. Hastings (2)
Report Pen: Webb (2)
Drop: Andrew
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Attendance: 54,000
Referee: Kerry Fitzgerald (Australia)

27 October 1991
Australia  16–6  New Zealand
Try: Campese
Con: Lynagh
Pen: Lynagh (2)
Report Pen: Fox (2)
Lansdowne Road, Dublin
Attendance: 54,000
Referee: Jim Fleming (Scotland)

Third-place play-off

30 October 1991
New Zealand  13–6  Scotland
Try: Little
Pen: Preston (3)
Report Pen: G. Hastings (2)


2 November 1991
Australia  12–6  England
Try: Daly
Con: Lynagh
Pen: Lynagh (2)
Report Pen: Webb (2)
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 56,208
Referee: Derek Bevan (Wales)


The tournament's top point scorer was Ireland's Ralph Keyes, who scored 68 points. David Campese and Jean-Baptiste Lafond scored the most tries, six in total.

Top 10 point scorers
Player Team Position Played Tries Conv­ersions Penal­ties Drop goals Total points
Ralph Keyes  Ireland Fly-half 4 0 7 16 2 68
Michael Lynagh  Australia Fly-half 6 2 11 12 0 66
Gavin Hastings  Scotland Fullback 5 1 9 13 0 61
Jonathan Webb  England Fullback 5 1 5 14 0 56
Grant Fox  New Zealand First five-eighth 4 0 7 10 0 44
Didier Camberabero  France Fly-half 3 1 5 6 0 32
Diego Dominguez  Italy Fly-half 3 0 7 5 0 29
Takahiro Hosokawa  Japan Fullback 3 1 8 2 1 29
Mathew Vaea  Western Samoa Scrum-half 4 0 5 5 0 25
David Campese  Australia Wing 6 6 0 0 0 24


The event was broadcast in the United Kingdom by ITV who took over the rights from the BBC.


External links

This page was last edited on 21 May 2021, at 19:18
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