Italy captain Sergio Parisse has hit out at World Rugby over its decision to cancel the Azzurri’s tournament-defining match against the All Blacks on Saturday.
Organisers called Saturday’s game off with typhoon Hagibis set to bring violent winds and torrential rain to Tokyo and Yokohama at the weekend.
New Zealand and Italy were in second and third place, respectively, in the Pool B standings, and both teams could mathematically have qualified for the playoffs. Italy had to win with a bonus point, while the All Blacks only needed one log point to advance.
As it is, both teams were allocated two log points each due to the game being called off, resulting in the All Blacks finishing top of the log and Italy remaining third on the table and thus out of contention for a spot in the playoffs.
When addressing the matter, Parisse expressed his bitter disappointment at the decision. He pulled no punches accusing World Rugby of being biased towards the All Blacks.
‘If New Zealand needed four or five points against us it would not have been cancelled,’ Parisse said on Thursday.
‘It is difficult to know that we won’t have the chance to play a match against one of the great teams.’
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