Japan dreams of another feat against the Springboks

Irresistible in the pool phase, Japan can still make history on Sunday against South Africa, in the quarterfinals of its World Cup.

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For the last quarter-final of the World Cup, Japan, host country, faces South Africa Sunday in Tokyo (12:15). Driven by incredible support from his country, the selection of Jamie Joseph, does not stop creating surprise in this World, while the Springboks have not forgotten their terrible defeat in 2015.


Qualified for the first time in their quarter-finals of the World Cup, Japan is the real sensation of the first round. With a game of speed and movement, the Brave Blossoms have managed to win against two rugby nations: Ireland (19-12) and Scotland (28-21). In addition to their two successes against Russia (30-10) and Samoa (38-19).

The selection of Jamie Joseph, who finishes at the top of Pool A, arrives in full confidence and carried by his country, to face South Africa, Sunday at 12:15 pm. A poster where they will have " nothing to lose "In the words of Monday, Kenki Fukuoka, who hopes to offer a second exploit against the Springboks, after the famous" Miracle Brighton "(34-32), at the 2015 World Cup.

The players of Japan, after their historic qualification against Scotland, 13 October.
The players of Japan, after their historic qualification against Scotland, 13 October. WILLIAM WEST / AFP

As the host country of the Rugby World Cup, Japan enjoys enthusiastic support from across the country. The Brave Blossoms TV audiences keep breaking records throughout the team's encounters and exploits. According to Nikkan Sports, more than half of the Japanese were in front of their post, Sunday, October 13, to follow the victory of their selection against Scotland (28-21). And the sales of jerseys explode. According to World Rugby, the International Rugby Federation, more than 200,000 shirts from Michael Leitch's team have been sold to date, but demand remains higher than stocks.

Japan coach Jamie Joseph has opted to switch to South Africa. William Tupou, who disappears from 23, is replaced by Ryohei Yamanaka. This is Japan's only change from the team that started in the decisive game against Scotland. The two wingers Kenki Fukuoka and Kotaro Matsushima, authors respectively of four and five tries in the first four games, are obviously aligned.

South Africa

Beaten by the All Blacks in the opening match (23-13), the Springboks have risen in the course of meetings, finding their explosive devastating. For proof, the selection of Rassie Erasmus has made three big successes: against Namibia (57-3), Italy (49-3) and Canada (66-7), to afford a seventh quarter of consecutive final in nine editions. An experience of significant knockout matches against Japanese novices at this stage of the competition.

In a warm-up match, South Africa won (41-7) against Jamie Joseph's selection in early September.

Siya Kolisi against Namibia, 18 October.
Siya Kolisi against Namibia, 18 October. Christophe Ena / AP

" We win, we continue. We lose, it's over. We have been in this state of mind for a few weeks now. We prepared normally, like a test-match. We put pressure on ourselves. We know what game we play. If a player does not know it, he does not deserve to be there. "

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi assured that his team was determined to beat the Cherry Blossoms, so as not to relive the same scenario as in 2015. The Japanese had beaten them on the wire (34-32) in the second half. hen, during the famous "miracle of Brighton". " It's something you never want to live again Said the Stormers player. The Japanese are warned.

The South African coach trusts Italy's winning squad to face Japan in the quarter-finals on Sunday in Tokyo. He maintains his confidence in Bongi Mbonambi tailgating to the detriment of Malcolm Marx, and Handré Pollard at the opening.

The Boks fans were worried, but Cheslin Kolbe is well suited to take his place against Japan. The winger of the Springboks, player in Toulouse, had twisted his ankle against Italy, a match where he had been brilliant.

Nicolas Master


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