Japan to meet South Africa in quarter final clash
2019-10-20 at 11:14
The build-up to today’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final between Japan and South Africa has inevitably been dominated by talk of the Brave Blossoms’ famous win over the Springboks in Brighton four years ago.
Japan, under coach Eddie Jones, shocked the rugby world when Karne Hesketh scored a last-minute try to beat South Africa 34-32 in the England 2015 pool stages.
Knocking the hosts out of their own tournament would be the perfect remedy for four years of hurt.
Japan have lit up the World Cup playing attacking rugby.
The team possesses a superb skill-set that serves Japan well, against more conservative or structured opposition.
While most of the attention has been on Japan’s attacking play, the platform has been built by their forwards.
Their tight five have been impressive in getting the ball over the line.
South Africa will be relying on their traditional strength to really get stuck into Japan and the driving maul will be a key weapon today. The Springboks have also scored more points & tries, than any other team.
South Africa are in no doubt about the dangers Japan pose to their World Cup hopes but Springbok fly-half Handre Pollard insists the experiences of four years ago will have no bearing on their current mission.