Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Brave Blossoms of IRB Rugby World Cup 2015



The words tweeted by Japan’s official rugby body were as simple and restrained as the result was astonishing: “We’ve made it.”

Japan – and the rest of the world - was today reeling after pulling off the biggest surprise in the history of the Rugby World Cup by beating two-times winners South Africa.

 And if the cheers among the disbelieving red-and-white faced fans of the so-called “Brave Blossoms” in the stadium at Brighton were deafening as the game came to a close, they were nothing compared to the reactions that immediately erupted on social media.


Twitter flooded with a global torrent of comments, from rugby stars and celebrities, as the shock win was analysed and celebrated in all its glory, many with hashtags including the simple #WOW.

The Japanese embraced the victory in a typically restrained manner, with the result making it onto the home pages of all media websites and some later edition newspapers.

The Asahi Shimbun proclaimed: “Japan writes World Cup history with sensational win against Springboks”, while the Yomiuri wrote: “Japan stuns the world, beats the Springboks”.

Risa Yoshiki, a Japanese model and actress, tweeted: “And Japan won! I was transfixed from beginning to end! I can’t sleep now! Thank you to the Japanese players!”



 Comments on result on the Japan Today website summed up a result that even the most optomsitic Japanese rugby fan would not have predicted.

"Outstanding from Japan", wrote a poster called Akukla. "Loved the guts to go for a win at the end when they could have settled for a draw".

Tamarama added, "I love this kind of drama in sport - brilliant victory! Seeing people in the crowd weeping at the end with pride and happiness was magnificent".

 "Well played Japan", posted KariHaruka. "You played your hearts out till the very end and you absolutely deserved that win!

"Stunning performance Japan; well done", added HedaMadness. "Hopefully it will give the sport the impetus it needs to ensure they host a successful competition in four years."

The shock result was invariably greeted with incredulity in South Africa, where one fan tweeted: “South African made Schoolboy errors and I think it is a dark, dark, dark, day in Springbok history.”



 Describing the win as a “fairy tale” for Japan, Gavin Rich, an expert rugby writer for SuperSport, the South African TV sports company, said: "It will go down as one of the most famous results in any Rugby World Cup and also surely South African rugby's most embarrassing moment in the history of the game.”

Elsewhere around the world, the shock was palpable.

Jonny Wilkinson, Rugby World Cup winner, described how his heart was “racing” following the eleventh hour dramas of the game.

 He added: “Japan met SA physically and stuck to a brilliant tactical plan. They were fit, enthusiastic & executed under pressure thru-out. Deserved it!”

Fellow rugby star Danny Care also tweeted: “Unbelievable spirit and will to win from @JRFURugby what a game!! Congratulations!”

Among the more surprising rugby fans who filled twitter feeds with comments was JK Rowling, who was moved into posting: “You Could not write this … [sic]”

    .@NeilBlairTBP Underdog refuses to take the draw, plays for the win, gets it in the final min... maybe in Quidditch, but real life?!

    Brian McFadden, the Irish singer, summed it up by tweeting: “Someone forgot to send Japan the script. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go!!!!”



Japan, not a nation famed for its rugby heritage, was apparently as surprised as the rest of the world by the unexpected victory of its Brave Blossoms, with its first World Cup win in 24 years.
Post a Comment