With the buzz and ecstasy of Saturday’s match still in the air, and the darkest of days in South Africa still looming, we here at Why Ed are looking into the Springboks vs Japan game to dissect it, and give our thoughts on this momentous win for the Japanese:

What went wrong for the Springboks:


What went right for Japan:

The faces of the Japanese fans after the game was a sight to behold, it meant the world to them, and rightly so! They played with emotion and skill, something that the Springboks lacked in almost every department. We can hound on the Springboks playing one of the worst games in Rugby History, but let’s not forget that Japan played one of the most memorable games the world has even seen. They were clinical and smart; they demolished our big once-off runners, didn’t fall for any of our tactics, and didn’t hold anything back. We, as South Africans, did not show them the respect they deserved, and most certainly, the referee had no influence on the result.

Eddie Jones is a master tactician, he knew how to slay the Springbok-beast. He knew that we were vulnerable (we lost against Argentina, Wales, Ireland, NZ and the Aussies in a period of one year) and he knew that we were treating this as a “warm-up game.” How else could you explain some of the inclusions in the team? But let’s not hammer away at that and rather focus on Japan.

How many of the Japanese boys are begging their parents for a rugby ball at the moment, or for a Japan rugby jersey to emulate what their team did this weekend? Is this not what rugby is all about? Bringing the love and passion of the game to other countries? For us, we’re disappointed in our boys in the Green and Gold, but will we ever stop supporting them? Nope! We’re behind this team of ours, through thick and thin. And to the Japanese: we’re over the moon for you guys, you gave it your all, and that was needed. We’re sorry for underestimating you. We sincerely hope that this isn’t just a once-off flash in the pan performance. If this is what you guys are bringing to the Super Rugby competition in 2016, we’re all for it! We can’t wait to learn (we must!) some of your players’ names and what they’re known for in terms of ability with a rugby ball. You guys crept into our rugby-loving hearts over the weekend. We here will be rooting for you guys in the upcoming matches!

Thank you Japan! You deserved this more than we did! And your fans were amazing to say the least, it brought tears to our eyes seeing your fans at the stadium, believing ‘till the end in the Brave Blossoms and the tears of joy after the final whistle. Goosebumps!

For the Springboks: we need to pick ourselves up and improve a lot. We still love and adore you, but you’ve let us down. This is what rugby is all about, it isn’t just sunshine and litres of beer. Sometimes, the dark days are more frequent than the sunny skies. We’re behind you all the way! Bokke!

Here is a gallery of the Japanese triumph in photos. Thank you Japan, this is your Rugby World Cup as well, you are deserved winners!

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Rugby Union - South Africa v Japan - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool B - Brighton Community Stadium, Brighton, England - 19/9/15 Japan's Harumichi Tatekawas (top) celebrates Karne Hesketh's winning try Reuters / Stefan Wermuth Livepic - RTS1WMC

South-Africa-v-Japan (1) South-Africa-v-Japan (2) South-Africa-v-Japan (3) South-Africa-v-Japan (4) South-Africa-v-Japan (5) South-Africa-v-Japan

This photo was taken right after the game – Joh! A Springbok supporter (Johann Delport) congratulating a Japanese fan after their historic win.


Take a look at these videos:

Japan react to victory over South AfricaJapan have beaten South Africa, who started the match with their most experienced XV in internationals, in their first-ever match with the Springboks. History.

Posted by Rugby World Cup on Saturday, September 19, 2015