Editorial

Editorial: Japan’s Cherry Blossoms Add To Rugby World Cup History

They not only qualified for the RWC quarterfinals, they also became the first Asian country to reach the knockout stages of World Rugby’s premier event held every four years.
15 Oct 2019 14:46
Editorial: Japan’s Cherry Blossoms Add To Rugby World Cup History

The Cherry Blossoms have created history at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

They not only qualified for the RWC quarterfinals, they also became the first Asian country to reach the knockout stages of World Rugby’s premier event held every four years.

The Japanese national side had also topped their pool in the 2019 RWC, leaving Six Nations top guns Ireland and Scotland in their wake.

The 28-21 victory over Scotland on Sunday night proved their victory over Ireland a week earlier was no fluke.

Of course many would argue that the Japanese side was buoyed on by their partisan fans who filled almost every venue where the home side played with deafening support.

Never before has Japan witnessed such support for a national side which had drawn their inspiration from the destruction and misery caused by Typhoon Hagibis.

This is how The Guardian newspaper summed up the victory- “Some results deserve to be lit up in neon and this historic victory for Japan was one of them. Never before has any team from Asia reached the quarter-finals of a Rugby World Cup, let alone played such an inspirational brand of rugby.

“This was not just an emotional occasion for the host nation but an electrifying moment for the global game as a whole.

“Because this was finally the day when the patronising Tier Two label still used by some to denote Japan’s status in the sport officially ceased to exist.

“As was the case against Ireland, the Brave Blossoms were irresistible at times and were more than good value for their four-try success against a Scotland team who, for only the second time, are going home before the knockout stages commence.”

Japanese coach and former All Black Jamie Joseph said the side drew their inspiration from those who had suffered the onslaught of Hagibis.

Typhoon Hagibis, the largest storm to hit Japan in 61 years, caused death and widespread destruction as it reached the mainland overnight on Saturday.

Wild winds, heavy rain and flooding forced the cancellation of three World Cup pool games – New Zealand’s match against Italy, England against France and Namibia’s quest for their first win in this arena over Canada.

The typhoon had also threatened to wipe out Japan’s final pool game against Scotland in Yokohama.

But the rugby gods wanted the people of Japan, especially those who had suffered from Hagibis to draw their inspiration from their national side’s mammoth victories to get back on their feet again and rebuild.

That in itself is resilience, something we in Fiji know too well about.

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Advertise with fijisun
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: