Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: What We Learned from the Second Rugby World Cup Weekend

What We Learned from the Second Rugby World Cup Weekend

Japan celebrate scoring a try against Ireland in the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Brave Blossoms spark tournament to life, Boks get job done, and Abysmal refereeing again in the spotlight - are our talking points in this week's what we learned from the second Rugby World Cup weekend.

Photo Copyright Steve Haag - Hollywoodbets 

Brave Blossoms spark tournament to life

In beating Ireland 19-13 in Fukuroi on Saturday, Japan arguably manufactured an even greater upset than their 34-32 win over South Africa in Brighton at the last edition. The host nation's supreme fitness and never say die attitude was the difference in the end, as they put together a performance for the ages to beat the No 1 ranked team heading into the tournament. The outcome certainly injected a degree of life into the World Cup after some rather by the numbers results, and has definitely left the fate of Pool A up in the air.

Boks get job done

While the performances of some of the Bok players may have left a lot to be desired, Rassie Erasmus will be pleased with his side's overall display during their hit-out against Namibia on Saturday. Led by Schalk Brits from the rather unfamiliar position at the back of the scrum, South Africa got through the game with no serious injuries and made the most of the chances to reclaim some confidence after their 23-13 loss to New Zealand in their opener. Crucially, the 57-3 win at the Toyota Stadium allowed certain fringe players some much-needed gametime, with skipper Siya Kolisi also gaining several valuable minutes off the bench as he continues to work his way back to full fitness.

Abysmal refereeing again in the spotlight

Sunday dished up one of the biggest matches at the World Cup so far in a clash that saw Wales pip Australia 29-25 at the Ajinomoto Stadium. While nothing should be taken away from Wales following another top-class performance, Australia were seriously hard done by after an entirely legal Samu Kerevi ball carry was penalized for being too high and "leading with the elbow". Following a closer inspection by TMO Ben Skeen, referee Romain Poite awarded Wales a crucial penalty that extended their advantage at a critical time in the contest from which Australia were never able to recover. The call was utterly embarrassing, with the likes of Wallaby coach Michael Cheika and former captain Phil Kearns rather predictably tearing into the matchday officials. World Rugby needs to come out and clear up the issue.


Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets 

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