RWC 2019: Naught what you’re looking for

The USA came within a whisker of being thoroughly thrashed by England in the World Cup on Thursday. It wasn’t until the dying minutes of the game that the USA managed their only points of the game. A solitary seven vs England’s 45.

It was one of the larger margins at the 2019 Rugby World Cup so far. Had the USA not scored, though, they would have joined a rather exclusive club of teams with embarrassing records at the tournament.

Failing to score a single point at the Rugby World Cup isn’t as common as you might think. Even with the so-called minnows taking part in the tournament across the years – the egg in the score column is quite rare.

Since the very first Rugby World Cup in 1987,  it has only happened ten times.  In fact, the first time it ever happened was in 1995 – the third edition of the tournament. The 2007 edition (what was up with that year?) of the tournament was a particularly bad year for avoiding a scoring egg – with four different matches playing out with unanswered points.

Most curious of that year, too, is Scotland being on both the giving and receiving end of such an unflattering scoreline.

If the USA had failed to score, they would have become just the second-ever side to notch up a completely unanswered scoreline twice a the Rugby World Cup. That dubious honour currently belongs to Namibia, who have been beaten that badly thrice.

And the team who has dished out most of these hidings? Drum roll, please. The Springboks.

Results with unanswered points at the Rugby World Cup


  • South Africa 20-0 Canada
  • Ivory Coast 0–89 Scotland


  • Scotland 48–0 Spain


  • Australia 142–0  Namibia


  • England 0-36 South Africa
  • Romania 0-42 Scotland
  • Georgia 30-0 Namibia
  • New Zealand 40-0 Scotland


  • South Africa 87–0 Namibia
  • Wales 66-0 Fiji


  • South Africa 64–0 USA

 Data sourced from ESPNScrum.

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