France wing Yoann Huget is out of the rest of the World Cup after hurting his knee in the 32-10 victory over Italy.
On top of being one of the biggest upsets in Rugby World Cup history, the game was a classic nail-biter, with scores practically level all the way through a hard-fought battle of attrition.
The Springbok defence kept out an onslaught but Hesketh finally got a touchdown in the right corner. “But we were more than courageous “.
For starters, the old and exhausted players in the Boks team could not deal with the lighting pace of the pint-sized Japan players.
Burger said the senior group of players – which includes several World Cup-winners – needed to help turn things around.
“As a Japanese citizen, I felt a lot of pride”, said Takashi Sekine, an amateur rugby coach in Japan.
I wouldn’t fancy being Samoa next weekend when they face South Africa. We have let our country down but we can’t keep on saying that.
“It’s quite incredible. We thought we could compete, but to beat South Africa is a fantastic achievement for the team and it’s a great day for Japanese rugby”, said Jones, who acted as a consultant for South Africa when they lifted the trophy in 2007.
But they got the first try through Francois Louw.
“Next time they do that in four years (2019 in Japan) you want to see them showing highlights of Japan winning games”. Lock Loudewyjk de Jager got the third at the end of an unstoppable 25 metre run.
But still Japan did not give up.
When Handre Pollard kicked a penalty with five minutes remaining it appeared South Africa would at least avoid a humiliating defeat. This is a very big wake- up call…
Along with the Japan fans, all other neutrals chose to support the Asian team. “Its going to be tough”, the coach admitted. They could have gone for a try and a conversion to bring seven points. “If this was Pieter De Villiers he would have been crucified as being an affirmative action appointee”.
“We have to take this competition by the scruff of the neck”. Up until now, Japan’s only World Cup win was against Zimbabwe in 1991. His fearless Blossoms were not given a prayer with Japan’s only previous entry into the World Cup notoriety having been for the record defeat – crushed 145-17 by New Zealand in 1995.
Ayumu Goromaru of Japan celebrates with Harumichi Tatekawa after the huge upset.