Yesterday little Japan, who hadn’t won a World Cup game for 24 years, beat the mighty Springboks in the greatest upset in World Cup history. The Japanese showed that if you use the talents you have, play to your strengths and give everything, you can beat the mightiest. What a life lesson for kids throughout the world.It was the Incredible Hulks v. The Red Hornets. Although De Villiers has only had 4 hours play this year, and some of the Saffers are well, older, the team are not exactly Dad’s Army. What they have is muscle, and they excel at strong set pieces and strong driving mauls.
The Japanese made 76 tackles in the first 40minutes. They had speed in the backline and in the turnovers. They took the lead with a penalty, and carried on as they started, clearly determined to run the Boks ragged.
By half time, it was 12-10 to the Boks, who were looking bemused and commentator Francois Pinaar, with commendable honesty, admitted he was rattled. He praised manager Aussie Eddie Jones, who had clearly drilled his team to perfection. The Japanese were obviously backing themselves to run the Boks into the ground.
You could hit the Japanese to the ground, but they just bounced back up, and got on with the game, felling Boks with amazingly low tackles. Another Bok try, but they were looking a bit, dare I say it, lumbering! First blood to the Boks in the second half, but they were uncomfortable, this was not the style they wanted to play.
Japan were playing with tempo, they are fit and they are fast. They were giving everything, in the do or die game of their lives. At 65 minutes, they had made 102 tackles to South African’s 63. Every time South Africa pulled ahead, the Japanese would sneak up and kick a few penalties, so they never managed to establish a solid lead.
To describe South Africa as desperate at the end would not be an overstatement. A century’s reputation was on the line. It was a fitting end that the game ended with a fanastic try setup by the Japanese captain, and the stoniest heart in the screaming crowd would not have denied they deserved their victory.
What a life lesson for kids everything, but of course Jezza thinks it’s more important to tend his allotment than care about kids.