The great­est shocks in Rugby World Cup history

The Daily Telegraph - Rugby World Cup - - Sport Rugby World Cup 2015 -

5 Wales 31 Samoa 38 1999

One of sev­eral dis­as­ters for Wales. It was an open af­fair at the Mil­len­nium Sta­dium, with the Samoans run­ning in five tries in front of the Welsh home fans. It ended a 10-game un­beaten run for Wales and over­shad­owed Neil Jenk­ins set­ting a world record for points. No 8 Pat Lam and fly-half Stephen Ba­chop, who scored two tries, were the stars.

4 Wales 34 Fiji 38 2007

Fiji stormed into a 25-3 lead in Nantes and a valiant Welsh fight­back proved in vain as they crashed out in the pool stage. A 73rd­minute try for Wales from Mar­tyn Wil­liams looked like it had clinched it, but then Graham Dewes touched down to send Fiji into their first quar­ter-fi­nal since the first tour­na­ment in 1987. The re­sult led to the sack­ing of coach Gareth Jenk­ins.

3 France 12 Ar­gentina 17 2007

France were ranked as the best north­ern hemi­sphere side, but froze in front of their own fans at the Stade de France on the open­ing night of the tour­na­ment. France looked ner­vous and their play was lit­tered with er­rors as Ig­na­cio Cor­leto scored a try and Felipe Con­tepomi kicked four penal­ties for Ar­gentina in front of 80,000 fu­ri­ous sup­port­ers.

2 W Samoa 16 Wales 13 1991

This was the first time a lead­ing rugby na­tion had been beaten by a sup­posed min­now at the World Cup. Wales were sim­ply out­mus­cled at Cardiff Arms Park. The re­sult meant Wales, who fin­ished third in 1987, did not even make it out of the group. “What if we’d been play­ing all of Samoa?” the fans joked. Eight years later, they found out.

1 S Africa 32 Ja­pan 34 2015

Not just the big­gest up­set in the World Cup but in the history of Test rugby. No one gave Ja­pan, 1,000-1 out­siders to win the tour­na­ment, a prayer against a pow­er­ful, ex­pe­ri­enced South Africa side. Even as they took early leads, all neu­tral observers as­sumed the South Africans would ul­ti­mately have enough to force a vic­tory.

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