2011 Rugby World Cup
|Host nation||New Zealand|
|Dates||9 September – 23 October|
|No. of nations||20 (91 qualifying)|
|Attendance||1,477,294 (30,777 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)||Morné Steyn (62)|
|Most tries|| Chris Ashton
(6 tries each)
The 2011 Rugby World Cup was the seventh Rugby World Cup, a quadrennial international rugby union competition inaugurated in 1987. The International Rugby Board (IRB) selected New Zealand as the host country in preference to Japan and South Africa at a meeting in Dublin on 17 November 2005. The tournament was won by New Zealand, who defeated France 8–7 in the final. The defending champions, South Africa, were eliminated by Australia 11–9 in the quarter-finals.
It was the largest sporting event ever held in New Zealand, eclipsing the 1987 Rugby World Cup, 1990 Commonwealth Games, 1992 Cricket World Cup and the 2003 America's Cup. Overseas visitors to New Zealand for the event totalled 133,000, more than the 95,000 that the organisers expected. However there was a drop in non-event visitors, meaning the net increase in visitors over the previous year was less than 80,000.
The games ran over six weeks commencing with the Rugby World Cup 2011 Opening Ceremony showcasing New Zealand's vast history and diverse cultures on 9 September 2011. The final was played on Sunday 23 October 2011, a date chosen because it fell on a long weekend caused by the New Zealand public holiday of Labour Day (Monday, 24 October 2011). The final was played at Eden Park in Auckland.
After speculation that the number of participating teams would be reduced to 16, the IRB announced on 30 November 2007 that the 2011 tournament would again feature 20 teams. Twelve teams qualified as a result of finishing in the top three in each pool in the 2007 tournament. The remaining eight berths were determined by regional qualifying tournaments. Of the 20 countries that competed in the previous World Cup in 2007, there was only one change – Russia replaced Portugal.
Host selection 
New Zealand co-hosted the first Rugby World Cup with Australia in 1987. Originally set to co-host the 2003 tournament with Australia, a disagreement over ground signage rights resulted in the New Zealand games being dropped and Australia became the sole host. The 2011 New Zealand bid contained plans to enlarge the size of Eden Park and other stadia to help increase the commercial viability of the bid. After winning the bid, the New Zealand Rugby Union, expressed disappointment towards their Australian counterparts who voted against New Zealand hosting the event, due to the misplaced expectation that the "ANZAC spirit" would result in a vote for New Zealand.
Japan co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup, so the necessary infrastructure was already in place. If Japan had been selected, it would have been the first Rugby World Cup hosted in Asia. In 2009, Japan succeeded in its aim to host a Rugby World Cup, when it was awarded the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
The IRB Council meeting in Dublin on 17 November 2005 announced that New Zealand had been selected after IRB inspections of each applicant host nation during June and July 2005.
Costs and benefits 
The event was expected to cost about NZ$310 million to run and to generate NZ$280 million in ticket sales. In Auckland, the city where many of the most important games will take place, the costs to the local ratepayers alone was estimated at $102 million.
Ticket sales exceeding NZ$285 million, accommodation-related spending of another NZ$260 million, and NZ$236 million spent on food and drink was expected to provide a significant fiscal stimulus, of nearly 1.4% of the quarterly GDP.
In the years between winning the bid and the staging of the event, New Zealand news media and social agencies cast aspersions on the nation's readiness and appropriate use of national funds for sports infrastructure, as has happened with most large, international, quadrennial, multi-location sporting events of recent decades such as the 2012 Olympics, 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Concerns were raised about the process of upgrading Eden Park to expand the capacity to the 60,000 required by the IRB. In late 2008 Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully said the remaining consent process might need to be overridden by legislation for the work to be completed on time.
A July 2009 report by the Auckland Regional Transport Authority, released under the Official Information Act, warned of lack of readiness and complacency, despite the fact that "the levels of patron movement and operational standard [needed for the RWC] are in reality significantly above what is currently delivered." The report was dismissed by Michael Barnett, the Auckland Chamber of Commerce CEO and planning co-coordinator for RWC events in Auckland, who characterised it as a case of "a Wellington media organisation us[ing] an outdated report".
The nation's largest hospitality workers' union, Unite, which represents 25% of hotel, restaurant and casino workers in New Zealand, demanded that workers share in windfall profits and said there was the possibility of a strike during the tournament.
The construction of Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium, known during the tournament as Otago Stadium, was a source of concern as the project was operating in a tight time frame. An April 2010 progress report stated that the project remained on target for completion prior to the Rugby World Cup, although there was a medium level of risk with some significant and potentially damaging concerns. If the project had not been completed on time, organisers would have reverted to Carisbrook as the backup option. Forsyth Barr Stadium was officially opened on 6 August 2011.
Warm-up matches 
The 2011 Tri Nations Series was shortened to include only six games instead of the usual nine. It served as the primary preparation for the tournament for Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. In the northern hemisphere, a series of friendlies played in August 2011 replaced the annual tours to the southern hemisphere. North American entrants Canada beat USA in two warm-up friendlies in August 2011.
Twelve of the nations at this tournament had competed in every previous Rugby World Cup – Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Romania, Scotland, and Wales. All the other sides also had previous World Cup experience, except for Russia who appeared in a Rugby World Cup for the first time.
Opening Ceremony 
The Opening Ceremony took place on 9 September 2011 in Eden Park in Auckland. There were four segments in the ceremony.
- The Call
A Maori woman began the ceremony by calling out words with Maori men blowing traditional instruments. The Call went around New Zealand and out to other countries in the world. The call was described as sending people to New Zealand for the event.
- The Journey
This act described many people from overseas making their way to the event. It started off with the floor being used as the ocean with boats moving along. People also come encounter with Hammerhead Sharks a national animal of New Zealand. The makeshift boats were then formed into giant Hammerhead Sharks. After this the Te Matarae I O Rehu Maori group performed a haka.
- The Battlefield
This act was the metaphor for the game of Rugby. This act featured the star of the show Hamilton Schoolboy Ethan Bai. Ethan Bai was referred to as "The Rookie". He started off racing on the field carrying a replica of the official Rugby World Cup 2011 ball scoring his first try. Ethan then came face to face with the Gladiators (played by rugby club members from across New Zealand). Ethan then began dodging and tackling the Gladiators and managed to score a try. Ethan was then surrounded by 260 degree scrum and then strapped and launched 20 metres above Eden Park to touch the giant replica of the ball. As he landed millions of photos of past great players were shown on the ground. Ethan then walked across the names of several players of rugby history. At the bottom he met Jonah Lomu who allowed him to score a try. The Gladiators wheeled a giant replica of the Web Ellis Trophy into the middle of Eden Park.
- The Prize
New Zealand singer Ria Hall sung a melody of World in Union and all participants of the opening ceremony joined in. At the end there was a Rugby Haka of Kapa O Pango. Afterwards New Zealand prime Minister The Right Honourable John Key and Chairman of the International Rugby Board Bernard Lapasset wished all teams the best of Luck and Bernard Lapasset officially opened the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The Scene was then transformed to Auckland Harbour where a fireworks display was held. The game was then kicked off to New Zealand vs Tonga.
The 13 venues for the 2011 Rugby World Cup were confirmed on 12 March 2009. A number of the venues were redeveloped to increase capacity for the event. The Government considered passing a law bypassing the consent process to allow all the stadiums' redevelopment to be completed in time.
Due to damage to Stadium Christchurch and many other facilities in Christchurch caused by the earthquake on 22 February 2011, it was announced on 16 March that the matches to be played in the city would be relocated. The two quarter-finals scheduled would be moved to Auckland, while the five group matches will move to other centres.
On 10 November 2006, the New Zealand Government announced plans for Stadium New Zealand in Auckland. The proposal was to build the new stadium seating 70,000 on the waterfront. After much public outcry, and lack of support from the Auckland Regional Council, the proposal was dropped in favour of the redevelopment of Eden Park. The redevelopment of Eden Park's Southern and South Western stands was completed during 2010.
|Eden Park||Westpac Stadium
(Wellington Regional Stadium)
|Forsyth Barr Stadium
|North Harbour Stadium|
|Capacity: 60,0001||Capacity: 40,0001||Capacity: 30,000||Capacity: 30,000|
|Waikato Stadium||Rotorua Int'l Stadium|
|Capacity: 36,000||Capacity: 34,000|
|Stadium Taranaki||Trafalgar Park|
|Capacity: 26,000||Expansion to 18,000|
|Rugby Park Stadium||Northland Events Centre||McLean Park||Arena Manawatu|
|Capacity: 20,000||Capacity: 18,000||Expansion to 22,000||Expansion to 15,000|
- ^1 with temporary seating
Seeding of teams for the 2011 World Cup was based on their respective IRB World Rankings. The top four at the 2007 Rugby World Cup (South Africa, England, Argentina, and France) were not therefore allocated top pool spots, but "the rankings are now very well established and provide us with a credible and succinct way of seeding teams for the rugby World Cup pool draw", according to Rugby World Cup Ltd (RWCL) chairman Syd Millar.
The draw was conducted in December 2008 and used the World Rankings as of 1 December 2008, after the Northern Hemisphere Autumn internationals. The teams were placed into three bands depending on their seedings at the time, with one team from each band in each of the groups. The rankings and bands were therefore: New Zealand (1), South Africa (2), Australia (3) and Argentina (4); Wales (5), England (6), France (7) and Ireland (8); Scotland (9), Fiji (10), Italy (11) and Tonga (12).
The full draw and venues for the tournament were announced on 12 March 2009.
The opening match saw the hosts, New Zealand, take on Tonga.
By coincidence, the final match and third-place playoff match were between the countries which contested the same matches at the first Rugby World Cup, which were also held in New Zealand, in 1987.
Each country was allowed a squad of 30 players for the tournament. These squads were to be submitted to the International Rugby Board by a deadline of 22 August 2011. Once the squad was submitted a player could be replaced if injured, but would not be allowed to return to the squad. There is also a stand-down period of 72 hours before the new player is allowed to take the field. Hence, a replacement player called into a squad on the eve of a game will not be permitted to play in that game.
Match officials 
On 8 April 2011, the IRB named ten referees, seven assistant referees and four television match officials to handle the group stage games. Two of the seven assistants will also be reserve referees if required.
Pool stage 
|Pool A||Pool B||Pool C||Pool D|
The first round, or pool stage, saw the twenty teams divided into four pools of five teams using the same format that was used in 2003 and in 2007. Each pool was a round-robin of ten games, where each team played one match against each of the other teams in the same pool. Teams were awarded four points for a win, two points for a draw and none for a defeat. A team scoring four or more tries in one match scored a bonus point, as did a team losing by seven or fewer points.
The teams finishing in the top two of each pool advanced to the quarterfinals. The top three teams of each pool have automatically qualified for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
If two or more teams were tied on match points, the following tiebreakers would have applied:
- The winner of the match between the two teams (would not apply if more than two teams were tied);
- Difference between points scored for and points scored against in all pool matches;
- Difference between tries scored for and tries scored against in all pool matches;
- Points scored in all pool matches;
- Most tries scored in all pool matches;
- Official IRB World Rankings as of 3 October 2011.
|Key to colours in pool tables|
|Advanced to the quarter-finals and qualified for the 2015 Rugby World Cup|
|Eliminated but qualified for 2015 Rugby World Cup|
Pld = matches played, W = matches won, D = draws, L = losses, TF = tries for, PF = match points for, PA = match points against, +/− = sum total of points for/against, BP = bonus points, Pts = pool points
Pool A 
|9 September 2011||New Zealand||41–10||Tonga||Eden Park, Auckland|
|10 September 2011||France||47–21||Japan||North Harbour Stadium, Auckland|
|14 September 2011||Tonga||20–25||Canada||Northland Events Centre, Whangarei|
|16 September 2011||New Zealand||83–7||Japan||Waikato Stadium, Hamilton|
|18 September 2011||France||46–19||Canada||McLean Park, Napier|
|21 September 2011||Tonga||31–18||Japan||Northland Events Centre, Whangarei|
|24 September 2011||New Zealand||37–17||France||Eden Park, Auckland|
|27 September 2011||Canada||23–23||Japan||McLean Park, Napier|
|1 October 2011||France||14–19||Tonga||Regional Stadium, Wellington|
|2 October 2011||New Zealand||79–15||Canada||Regional Stadium, Wellington|
Pool B 
|10 September 2011||Scotland||34–24||Romania||Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill|
|10 September 2011||England||13–9||Argentina||Otago Stadium, Dunedin|
|14 September 2011||Scotland||15–6||Georgia||Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill|
|17 September 2011||Argentina||43–8||Romania||Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill|
|18 September 2011||England||41–10||Georgia||Otago Stadium, Dunedin|
|24 September 2011||England||67–3||Romania||Otago Stadium, Dunedin|
|25 September 2011||Argentina||13–12||Scotland||Regional Stadium, Wellington|
|28 September 2011||Georgia||25–9||Romania||Arena Manawatu, Palmerston North|
|1 October 2011||England||16–12||Scotland||Eden Park, Auckland|
|2 October 2011||Argentina||25–7||Georgia||Arena Manawatu, Palmerston North|
Pool C 
|11 September 2011||Australia||32–6||Italy||North Harbour Stadium, Auckland|
|11 September 2011||Ireland||22–10||United States||Stadium Taranaki, New Plymouth|
|15 September 2011||Russia||6–13||United States||Stadium Taranaki, New Plymouth|
|17 September 2011||Australia||6–15||Ireland||Eden Park, Auckland|
|20 September 2011||Italy||53–17||Russia||Trafalgar Park, Nelson|
|23 September 2011||Australia||67–5||United States||Regional Stadium, Wellington|
|25 September 2011||Ireland||62–12||Russia||International Stadium, Rotorua|
|27 September 2011||Italy||27–10||United States||Trafalgar Park, Nelson|
|1 October 2011||Australia||68–22||Russia||Trafalgar Park, Nelson|
|2 October 2011||Ireland||36–6||Italy||Otago Stadium, Dunedin|
Pool D 
|10 September 2011||Fiji||49–25||Namibia||International Stadium, Rotorua|
|11 September 2011||South Africa||17–16||Wales||Regional Stadium, Wellington|
|14 September 2011||Samoa||49–12||Namibia||International Stadium, Rotorua|
|17 September 2011||South Africa||49–3||Fiji||Regional Stadium, Wellington|
|18 September 2011||Wales||17–10||Samoa||Waikato Stadium, Hamilton|
|22 September 2011||South Africa||87–0||Namibia||North Harbour Stadium, Auckland|
|25 September 2011||Fiji||7–27||Samoa||Eden Park, Auckland|
|26 September 2011||Wales||81–7||Namibia||Stadium Taranaki, New Plymouth|
|30 September 2011||South Africa||13–5||Samoa||North Harbour Stadium, Auckland|
|2 October 2011||Wales||66–0||Fiji||Waikato Stadium, Hamilton|
Knockout stage 
|8 October – Wellington|
|15 October – Auckland|
|8 October – Auckland|
|23 October – Auckland|
|9 October – Wellington|
|16 October – Auckland|
|9 October – Auckland|
|21 October – Auckland|
Ireland vs Wales 
|8 October 2011
18:00 NZDT (UTC+13)
|Ireland||10–22||Wales||Regional Stadium, Wellington
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
|Try: Earls 45' c
Con: O'Gara (1/1)
Pen: O'Gara (1/1) 24'
|Report||Try: Williams 3' c
Phillips 51' m
J. Davies 64' c
Con: Priestland (2/3)
Pen: Halfpenny (1/1) 29'
England vs France 
|8 October 2011
20:30 NZDT (UTC+13)
|England||12–19||France||Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
|Try: Foden 55' c
Cueto 77' m
Con: Wilkinson (1/2)
|Report||Try: Clerc 22' m
Médard 31' m
Pen: Yachvili (2/3) 11', 16'
Drop: Trinh-Duc (1/1) 73'
South Africa vs Australia 
|9 October 2011
18:00 NZDT (UTC+13)
|South Africa||9–11||Australia||Regional Stadium, Wellington
Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)
|Pen: M. Steyn (2/4) 39', 56'
Drop: M. Steyn (1/1) 60'
|Report||Try: Horwill 11' m
Pen: O'Connor (2/2) 17', 72'
New Zealand vs Argentina 
|9 October 2011
20:30 NZDT (UTC+13)
|New Zealand||33–10||Argentina||Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
|Try: Read 69' m
Thorn 79' c
Con: Cruden (1/1)
Pen: Weepu (7/7) 13', 26', 36', 40', 50', 59', 73'
|Report||Try: Farías Cabello 32' c
Con: Contepomi (1/1)
Pen: Bosch (1/1) 46'
Wales vs France 
|15 October 2011
21:00 NZDT (UTC+13)
|Wales||8–9||France||Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
|Try: Phillips 58' m
Pen: Hook (1/3) 8'
|Report||Pen: Parra (3/3) 22', 35', 51'
Australia vs New Zealand 
|16 October 2011
21:00 NZDT (UTC+13)
|Australia||6–20||New Zealand||Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
|Pen: O'Connor (1/1) 16'
Drop: Cooper (1/1) 32'
|Report||Try: Nonu 6' m
Pen: Weepu (4/7) 13', 38', 43', 73'
Drop: Cruden (1/1) 22'
Bronze final: Wales vs Australia 
|21 October 2011
20:30 NZDT (UTC+13)
|Wales||18–21||Australia||Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
|Try: Shane Williams 50' m
Halfpenny 80+' c
Con: S. Jones (1/1)
Pen: Hook (1/2) 20'
S. Jones (1/1) 71'
|Report||Try: Barnes 12' c
McCalman 76' m
Con: O'Connor (1/2)
Pen: O'Connor (2/4) 54', 58'
Drop: Barnes (1/1) 68'
Final: France vs New Zealand 
|23 October 2011
21:00 NZDT (UTC+13)
|France||7–8||New Zealand||Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
|Try: Dusautoir 47' c
Con: Trinh-Duc (1/1)
|Report||Try: Woodcock 15' m
Pen: Donald (1/1) 46'
Point scorers 
Players of the tournament 
Following the completion of the Rugby World Cup, the IRB's Rugby News Service listed the Top 5 players of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. These players were:
Sky Network Television, New Zealand's largest subscription television provider, was host broadcaster for the Rugby World Cup, transmitting all matches live and in high definition coverage was available. Games were also available on free-to-air networks in New Zealand but not all pool matches were screened live on free to air. Broadcasting rights were allocated throughout the world by the IRB, including highlights, free to air and pay per view.
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