1999 Rugby World Cup moves to quarterfinals
The final pool play matches of the 1999 Rugby World Cup were held over the weekend with the top 11 teams advancing to the next round.
Five teams advanced all the way to quarterfinal play. They are Wales, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and France.
Six other teams are in the quarterfinal playoffs, the first of the so-called knockout rounds.
In matches scheduled for Wednesday, England will play Fiji; Scotland will play Samoa; and Ireland will take on Argentina.
Those winners will move into the quarterfinals on Saturday and Sunday in England and Ireland.
France will play the winner of the Ireland-Argentina playoff in one 1999 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal.
New Zealand will take on the winner of the Scotland-Samoa playoff.
And South Africa, the defending World Cup champion, will take on the England-Fiji winner. The other quarterfinal game will pair Australia against Wales.
The seedings were created with last weekend’s pool play finals, including at pair of high-scoring games.
New Zealand wrapped up its pool with a 101-3 win over Italy.
Similarly, England reached triple figures with a 101-10 win over Tonga.
Canada totaled 70 points in a 70-11 win over Namibia. South Africa finished with a 39-3 win over Uruguay.
Samoa edged Wales 38-31 in a game considered one of the most entertaining of the opening rounds.
The United States completed its 1999 Rugby World Cup with a hard-fought 55-19 loss to powerhouse Australia at Limerick, Ireland.
The Wallabies, who had already clinched the pool championship, fielded a second side and still managed to handle the Eagles.
Alec Parker of the U.S. and a former standout athlete at Aspen High School, scored an apparent try for the United States in the second half. However, the points were taken away on a controversial call with Australia leading only 17-3.
The upstart Americans trailed by only 12 points at the half against one of the favorites to win the 1999 Rugby World Cup.
The Wallabies won the World Cup title in 1991 World Cup crown with homestanding South Africa winning in 1995.
The United States team played Ireland, Romania and Australia in pool play, dropping all three contests.
The 0-3 shutout for the United States team matched the team’s performance in the 1991 Rugby World Cup.
The last U.S. victory in World Cup play came in 1987.
For the 1999 World Cup, the Gentlemen of Aspen rugby club was represented on the U.S. team by more than native son Parker.
Mark Williams, Brian Hightower and Tomasi Takau of the Gentlemen participaated with the U.S. team in the 1999 Rugby World cup.
Hightower, in fact, scored a key try in the U.S. comeback against Romania.
The televised replay of the U.S.-Australia game is scheduled for 7 p.m. today on regional Fox stations.
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Mario Ruiz came to Aspen Highlands from Bariloche through the ski patrol exchange as part of the Sister Cities program last winter. He quickly ingrained himself with the Highlands patrol. Ruiz was killed July 27 in an avalanche while working at his home ski area. The Highlands patrol is raising funds for his family.