The greatest shocks in Rugby World Cup history
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.