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Japan and New Zealand have higher goals after showcase weekend | Robert Kitson

Hosts and World Cup favourites eye semi-final spots while England and Wales also have their tails up for the quarter-finals

For many years one of the staples of family entertainment on television was the art of plate spinning. The most impressive example, according to the Guinness Book of Records was in Bangkok in 1996 when David Spathaky had 108 plates spinning simultaneously. In rugby union the equivalent is a weekend of World Cup quarter-finals, with 184 players all frantically looking to keep their childhood dreams intact.

Related: Japan hang on to reach Rugby World Cup last eight and send Scotland out

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