South Africa have beaten Japan to book their spot in the Rugby World Cup semi-finals

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Japan took on South Africa on Sunday as they became the first Asian team to take part in a Rugby World Cup quarter-final.

Unbeaten in the group stage, with massive wins over Ireland and Scotland to their name, Japan would have been confident of causing yet another upset.

However, the Springboks are a completely different beast and they flexed their muscle early on as Makizolo Mapimpi powered over for their first try after five minutes.


Handre Pollard missed the conversion but there were ominous signs for the host nation.

South Africa's domination was short-lived though as Tendai Mtarawira was sent to the sin bin for a dangerous tip-tackle.

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South Africa created a few opportunities of their own late on but were unable to convert - the game hanging in the balance at halftime with the score 5-3 to the African side.

The two-time champions came out firing in the second stanza, with some early pressure giving Pollard the opportunity to extend their lead from the tee within minutes of the restart.

The boot of Pollard continued to do the talking as the tide well and truly began to change.

Another penalty extended the gap to eight points as the bruising South African defensive effort began to take its toll on the hosts.

The sheer might of the South African pack was now dictacting play as the Cherry Blossom dream withered.

Countless up-and-under's followed as they pinned the Japanese side into their own 22 grinding them down as the clocked ticked away.

Ultimately, it would prove a bridge too far for the Japanese as South Africa showed class with the electric Faf De Klerk flying over in the 66th minute.

The game was well and truly put to bed when Maphimpi flew over in the corner to send the Bokke sailing into the final four.

For Japan it signalled the end of an incredible run as they fell to their first and only loss of the tournament.

For South Africa, a clash with Wales awaits as their campaign to clinch a third World Cup continues.

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