Rugby Union

Japan humble South Africa in Rugby World Cup

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Yes, it did happen. Relative rugby minnows, Japan, managed to pull off one of the biggest shocks in the sport on Saturday. It may even be the biggest shock ever.

The team from the land of Rising Sun beat rugby giants South Africa 34-32 in Pool B. It was a performance that warranted the win as the Japanese pushed the Springboks all the way.

After a good start to the game, Japan held on, as the Southern Hemisphere team tried to find their feet. As the game wore on the Asian side nipped into the lead late on to secure a historic win.


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It is a huge blow for the South Africans, rugby in their country is massive, and this result is likely to shake the very foundations of their sport.

It is not like they played a weakened side, the two-time world champions had 851 caps between them. It is another disappointment after they failed to win a game in the recent Rugby Championship.

Sporting shocker

Japan are to host the next world cup and doubts had been clouding the decision to give the biggest tournament in the sport to the Far East country. Many wondered if the country would embrace the event or if the home side would be up to the task on the field. But, with their latest win, they have answered a lot of those questions.

The unexpected win has to rank up alongside other sporting shocks such as: Buster Douglas defeating Mike Tyson, John Daly winning the 1991 US PGA title and Greece winning the 2004 European Championships.

But is it a sign of things to come or a one off? Japan boss, Eddie Jones, has shown what can be done if you get a solid, well-drilled and disciplined team all working together. This could be the blueprint for other emerging rugby countries. This can only help rugby as a whole and could supply competitive games right through future world cups.

Do you think Japan can cause another shock this World Cup and make it past the group stage? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below.

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