Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Jubilant Japan make World Cup history

Jubilant Japan make World Cup history

Kenki Fukuoka of Japan during the Rugby World Cup Pool A match between Japan and Scotland, Pool A at the International Stadium Yokohama,Yokohama City Saturday 13th October 2019
Kenki Fukuoka

Japan secured the most important win in their rugby history when they beat Scotland 28-21 to top Pool A at the Yokohama International Stadium on Sunday.

The victory, Japan's first-ever over their Celtic rivals, means they will face the Springboks in their debut quarterfinal to be played in seven days' time.

The result also means Scotland fail to qualify for the knockouts for just the second time and the first since 2011.

Following the destruction wreaked by Typhoon Hagibis over the past several days, many feared the game was going to be cancelled altogether; a scenario that would have seen Japan qualify at the Scots' expense.

Scotland Rugby had even threatened to sue World Rugby had the Test not gone ahead, lamenting their failure to initiate a workable contingency plan.

Go ahead it did, though, with the match regarded by some as arguably one of the most hotly anticipated since the tournament's inception.

Indeed, the magnitude of the occasion was not lost on the Japanese, who produced a superbly composed performance to leave their counterparts with too much to do late on in the contest.

While Scotland did well to issue a mini-comeback in the third quarter, the organization and accuracy of Japan was not to be undone.

A Finn Russell try had opened the scoring but the flying Kotaro Matsushima hit back with his fifth try of the tournament soon thereafter.

The Brave Blossoms' offloading game had been an integral cog for them throughout their World Cup campaign, and they showcased this ability to brilliant effect when the ball went through numerous pairs of hands before Keita Inagaki crashed over for his side's second.

Kenki Fukuoka then latched onto a grabber just before the interval, as the host nation assumed an extraordinary 21-7 lead at the break.

Fukuoka' second sealed their bonus-point soon after the resumption, meaning Gregor Townsend's men required a bonus-point win themselves to make it through the pool.

WP Nel and Zander Fagerson scored within the space of five-minutes to give them some hope, but the hosts hung on for a famous win.


Japan - 28
Tries: Matsushima, Inagaki, Fukuoka (2)
Cons: Tamura (4)

Scotland - 21
Tries: Russell, Nel, Fagerson
Cons: Laidlaw (2), Russell


Japan: 15 William Tupou, 14 Kotaro Matsushima, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Ryoto Nakamura, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Yutaka Nagare, 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Michael Leitch (captain), 5 James Moore, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Jiwon Koo, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki.Replacements: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Isileli Nakajima, 18 Asaeli Ai Valu, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Hendrik Tui, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Ryohei Yamanaka.

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Darcy Graham 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Jamie Ritchie, 6 Magnus Bradbury, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Allan Dell.Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Scott Cummings, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 George Horne, 22 Pete Horne, 23 Blair Kinghorn.

Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets 

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