Latest: Ford, Gray restored to Scotland’s starting XV for QF
LONDON (AP) The latest at the Rugby World Cup (all times local):
Ross Ford and Jonny Gray have been reinstated to Scotland’s starting lineup for the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against Australia, a day after successfully appealing their three-week bans.
The Scottish forwards had their bans overturned on Saturday, allowing them to resume playing immediately at the tournament despite missing selection in the matchday 23 announced on Friday.
Hooker Fraser Brown and lock Tim Swinson, who were initially elevated to the starting lineup to replace Ford and Gray, revert to the reserves in the lineup released an hour before kickoff at Twickenham.
Ford and Gray were cited by an independent citing commissioner, from Australia, after combining in a tackle of Samoa flanker Jack Lam last weekend. The citing was upheld by judicial officer Christopher Quinlan of England, who imposed the sanction.
Amid controversy over the leniency of penalties for some players and the harshness of penalties for others, Scotland appealed against the severity of the punishment.
An appeal panel headed by Lex Mpati of South Africa found the players had not committed an act of foul play, as Lam had not been dropped or driven and, therefore, the tackle was not dangerous.
Argentina pushes into an early 17-point lead and produces a late flourish to beat Ireland 43-20 in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals, reaching the last four for the second time.
The Pumas set up a semifinal against either Australia or Scotland after scoring two tries in each half at Millennium Stadium, with winger Juan Imhoff – a star of the tournament – crossing either side of the break.
Beside 23 points from the boot of Nicolas Sanchez, the other tries come from center Matias Moroni and fullback Joaquin Tuculet, providing more evidence that Argentina is no longer just reliant on its traditional strength in the forwards.
The injury-hit Irish, who have still never reached the semifinals, will rue a slow start when they fell behind 17-0 after 14 minutes and then 20-3 after 22 minutes.
It’s the third time they have been eliminated from a World Cup by Argentina, and another blow for the northern hemisphere, after losses for Wales and France on Saturday.
Argentina holds a 20-10 lead at halftime in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal at Millennium Stadium after racing to a 17-0 lead in the first 13 minutes.
Ireland still has much to do in order to reach the semifinals for the first time and prevent Argentina from reaching its second semifinal in three tournaments.
The Pumas opened a big early lead with converted tries from outside center Matias Moroni and left winger Juan Imhoff both coming from fine attacking moves down the right and a penalty from flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez.
That left Ireland needing to stage the biggest comeback in World Cup history, and coach Joe Schmidt’s team responded admirably after Argentina prop Ramiro Herrera was sin-binned for an illegal tackle.
Replacement winger Luke Fitzgerald, who went on for the injured Tommy Bowe, finished off well in the left corner and flyhalf Ian Madigan converted to add to his earlier penalty.
Madigan and Sanchez both hit the upright with missed penalty kicks, while Sanchez also scuffed a dropped goal.
South Africa lock Lood de Jager played with an injured tendon in his foot in the win over Wales in their Rugby World Cup quarterfinal on Saturday.
De Jager was hurt early but continued, coach Heyneke Meyer said.
Team doctor Craig Roberts says on Sunday, ”We need to give him some time to see how that settles, and we will make a decision later in the week on his availability for the All Blacks (semifinal).”
Victor Matfield, who has missed three matches with a left hamstring injury, is rehabbing well, Roberts says, but his availability for the semifinals will be another late-week decision.
Meanwhile, hooker Bismarck du Plessis’ right hand was lacerated and swollen after captain Fourie du Preez stood on it in the first half. It is not broken, Roberts says.
Ireland’s players are receiving a huge cheer at Millennium Stadium as they jog around the field before the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against Argentina.
The green shirts of the Irish fans heavily outnumber the sky blue-and-white shirts of their Argentine counterparts.
But while Ireland has never reached the semifinals, losing five quarterfinals, the Pumas are looking to book a place in the last four again, after upsetting the odds in 2007.
The winner of this match plays either Australia or Scotland, who were playing their quarterfinal at Twickenham later Sunday.
It’s time for the northern hemisphere teams to front up in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals.
New Zealand thrashed France 62-13 and South Africa squeezed past Wales 23-19 as the Rugby Championship heavyweights got a jump-start in the battle of the hemispheres.
Europe’s best chance for representation in the semifinals lies with Six Nations champion Ireland, which takes on Argentina in Sunday’s first game at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Then it’s Australia vs. Scotland to round off the quarterfinal stage.
By the end of Sunday, all roads lead to Twickenham, which will host the two semifinals next weekend and the final on Oct. 31.