Despite a rough game, Japan won against Russia (30-10) in the opening of the competition. If you missed that and the rest of the World debut, do not panic, we tell you everything.
That the first Marseillaise of this World will be sung in the stadium of Tokyo. The Blues come on the track against Argentina at 9:15 am (French time) and the two teams will have the same goal: a place in quarters.
Problem, in group A, there is especially England, the big favorite. In other words, three teams for only two qualifying places. And we're sorry to tell you, but France is neither a favorite nor an outsider.
If France has historically the advantage over the Pumas (36 wins for 14 defeats), in World Cup, it is the opposite: 2-1 for Argentina and the last blue victory dates back to 1999. At the World Cup 2007 organized in France, the South American team has even allowed to beat the French XV twice. In opening match first (12-17), which is already hurting. Then in the small final, depriving the Blues of a medal in front of their audience. Which is even worse.
We can be reassured by saying that the Tricolores have not lost against them since 2016 (well, there were only two games).
Also follow the other two meetings of the day: if you are an early bird, Australia-Fiji at 6:45 (Hen D); if you want to make a feast, do not miss one of the most beautiful posters of these chicken phases, New Zealand – South Africa at 11:45 am (Pool B).
It was yesterday
And we did not expect such a match, far from the dreaded Japanese domination. The first attempt of this World Cup was, indeed, Russian. After four minutes of play only, on a failed Japanese raise, the Russian winger Cyril Golosnitskiy slalomed in a porous defense to flatten in the goal (0-7). A little numb by the stake, the Japanese answered nevertheless five minutes later by a test of Kotaro Matsushima, without transforming (5-7).
The Russians resisted for thirty-five minutes, until Matsushima found the gap on the small side and restored the advantage to his teammates just before half-time (12-7).
Back from the locker room, if Japan flew to the score with two more tries and a fine hat-trick of winger Matsushima, the match was still rough. The Russians will score only one penalty in the second period. Despite a missed start and an unconvincing match, Japan finally won 35-10, the offensive bonus point to the key.
"I knew we would be pretty nervous and we would have to stay focused in the game, confided Michael Leitch, the captain of Japan after the meeting. The victory was a massive relief. We have to prepare very well for the next opponent. " Which will not be less than Ireland, serious contender to the Webb Ellis trophy.
It is said
"Given the way we have prepared, I think we have the same level of play as England, New Zealand and South Africa. "
It is not Jonathan Sexton and his Ireland who are the favorites for the World Cup that have made these comments, but the three-quarter wing XV of France Yoann Huget, holder against Argentina. The interview he gave to Guardian is surprising since Huget says that France will go very far in this World, something which the majority of insiders and even rugby fans strongly question.
We said the same thing as the remark contained in this edifying tweet:
"Given the way we have prepared, I think we are at the same level as England, New Zealand and South Africa" … https://t.co/B1KqXODb1i
It's impossible to know if Yoann Huget was delusional or if he was really serious. But why not.
The XV of the Rose and its main sponsor do not skimp on the staging. In their latest commercial, Owen Farell and his teammates equip themselves with knightly armor and mount their faithful steeds in ancestral Japan to fight. It's like being in a remake of Games of Thrones or Castle of the Spider by Akira Kurosawa (1957), film adaptation of Macbeth of Shakespeare.
Over the last four years, every blade of grass has taken us closer to Japan 🇯🇵 the the the the the … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … https://t.co/Q41mWhsEym
A beautiful communication in the certain goal to make forget the English disappointment of the last World in 2015, organized at home and from which they had been eliminated … in group stage.
Rugby World Cup: find all the groups
Group A: all you need to know about Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Russia and Samoa.
Group B: all you need to know about New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Namibia and Canada.
Group C: all you need to know about France, England, Argentina, Tonga and the United States.
Group D: all you need to know about Australia, Wales, Georgia, Fiji and Uruguay.