South Africa’s two time Rugby World Cup winning Springboks took on the underdog team of Japan on Saturday and lost.
Before the start of the first of the Pool B matches everyone knew this game would be historical as it was the first time these two sides met. To the surprise of rugby fanatics around the world, including that of Japan, the Asian side pulled well-deserved 32-34 win out of the bag in extra time.
“We let the country down, we let ourselves down…no excuses,” said Springbok head coach Heyneke Meyer.
Before the game Japan only won one out of their 24 matches in their RWC bids, whereas South Africa only lost four out of their 25 games.
From the kick-off Japan was on the Boks with every move they made putting pressure with their ability to get to the break-down faster than the green and gold.
They played tactically well and made good use of every opportunity the Boks gave them with penalties.
Although the Japanese displayed incredible rugby, one might say the Springboks’ starting XV were definitely not of the caliber that the world is use to.
Meyer chose to play heavy and slow players expecting Japan would be a walk-over win of at least 40 points, but he played right into Japan’s coach, Eddie Jones’ hands.
Springbok captain, Jean de Villiers was at a loss for words after the games, but commended the Japanese side for a fantastic game.
Never before has a team conceded this many points against South Africa in a RWC match.
Unless South Africa wins the rest of their pool games with two bonus points the Boks will be going home much sooner than expected.
They will be taking on an even tougher opposition in the form of Samoa next Saturday. If they lose this game their campaign for the cup is over.
Published: Wits Vuvuzela on 19 September 2015.