Rugby World Cup: Hosts Japan struggle their way into the quarter-finals

Rugby World Cup: Hosts Japan struggle their way into the quarter-finals

In the last World Cup four years ago, the Scots won the World Cup from Japan in the group stage, this time the exact opposite happened. It was also Japan’s first win against Scotland and their first promotion into the top eight at the World Cup.

The hosts will now take on South Africa in the quarter-finals next weekend and can hope for another “Brigathon miracle”. In the last World Cup, they sensationally defeated the “Springboks”. Group runners-up Ireland, who also lost to Japan, face defending champions New Zealand.

high tension from the beginning

After a minute’s silence for the dead and injured by Typhoon “Hagibis”, the 40th and final all-around preliminary round games developed dramatically as expected in Yokohama. An intense opening period with chances at both ends saw Scotland take the lead with a try from Finn Russell. But then the hosts really stepped up: Kotaro Matsushima, Keita Inagaki and Kenki Fukuoka had most of the 72,000 fans in the stands applauding with meaningful tries.

AP/Christophe Enna

Fukuoka was there before and after the break

Two minutes after the break, Fukuoka scored a bonus point with his next try and the Scots saw their quarter-final chances dwindle. But he didn’t give up just yet and later produced some of his best shots since the game’s inception. Willem Nel brought his team back into the game, with Xander Fagerson scoring Scotland’s next try a short time later. Japan’s 28:7 lead was reduced to 28:21 minutes later.

anxiety increases

Tension rose with both sides in the final 15 minutes, and a “pack formation” that is rare in rugby prompted a warning from New Zealand referee Ben O’Keefe. After that, the Japanese again calmed down the game and tried to let the time expire.

Japanese players celebrate

APA/AFP/William West

Japan can expect at least one more game in the domestic tournament

The Scots, on the other hand, started desperately but were repeatedly caught in the tight defense of the hosts. A brilliant game ended with tears in the eyes of both the sides after just 80 minutes.

Wales win in Group D

Wales had earlier secured first place in Group D with a 35–13 (7–6) victory over Uruguay and thus secured a quarter-final clash with France. Group runners-up Australia will face Group C winners England.

Welsh had to work hard for success in Kumamoto, as “Lelos” fought against defeat for a long time. Only one try was scored by Nicky Smith before the break and the Six Nations team had a narrow lead.

protector broken

In the second half, however, the Welshmen, who had only three days to recover after the game against Fiji, broke through the opposition’s defence. Josh Adams, Hallam Amos, Tomos Williams and Gareth Davies all made it clear with their tries and bonus points. German Kessler, on the other hand, was pleased with Uruguay’s third try against a top nation at the World Cup.

In Group C, Tonga won a struggler duel with USA 31:19 (7:12) and earned its first win in Japan as a bye. The United States, on the other hand, had to accept their tenth consecutive defeat in a World Cup game. The game between Namibia and Canada in Group B was called off due to Typhoon Hagibis, as were the first two games.

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