Japan’s stock has continued to rise after another performance that at times was as dominant as that of the All Blacks against Scotland. Whilst the Scottish team made a fight back against the Japanese after they began to tire, the hosts of the World Cup held on to seal a win that puts real weight behind their previous performances in group stages.
Japan will now take on South Africa next in the Quarter Final, bringing back a reunion of their first major win on the World Cup stage back in Brighton in 2015. But this time Japan should be considered more than just an outside bet now after their dominance over both Scotland and Ireland.
South Africa will be bringing all their power, and they will need it to beat a Japan team who play at a tempo that has barely been matched in this World Cup.
Japan took motivation from the devastation of typhoon hagibis which shook the country in the build up to the game, and they will need to keep drawing on this motivation if they are to move forward in the competition. They have history to play on though and that will sit with the South Africans as they build up to this match, but the African team are in a completely different place to 4 years ago and will be a stern test for Japan. But their work rate and tempo will be a tough test for South Africa.
If the Japanese can blow South Africa out of the water in the first half with their skillset and pace they will be more than capable to sealing a win, but this will need to be a full 80 minute performance to keep out one of the firm favourites for this World Cup.
But for now, enjoy the highlights of what a truly brilliant game and truly one for the archives.