“I know the people will be disappointed but we have one more game, and we need to finish on a high if we can”.
“If we’re good enough we’ll go through”.
Ayumu Goromaru scored 16 points to keep Japan in the race for a historic appearance in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals as they beat Samoa 26-5 on Saturday.
“I coached Japan for the first time in 1996 and I came back in 2010 and I was quite dismayed at the level of rugby in Japan and the level of the national team”.
South Africans had more than one reason to celebrate, however.
Gorgodze started in the 54-9 loss to Argentina and the loss to the All Blacks but is more confident when taking on Namibia, which is 0-17 in Rugby World Cup matches.
The Springboks, upset 34-32 by Japan in their first game, dominated the first half and tries by flanker Schalk Burger and winger JP Pietersen gave it a 20-3 lead at the interval. “We dominated territorily and possession-wise in the first half, and it was our ability to win the ball cleanly in the line-out and the scrum and to induce penalties in those areas”, said Jones at a news conference after the game. It is a mark of their progress they were perhaps disappointed not to take a bonus point from another remarkable win. “They were up against a strong physical side and South Africa came out on top in the end, but that’s the way it goes”. It was a case of “this is the team”, that’s that. “Of course I would, but whether the RFU part ways with Stuart Lancaster is a big and hard decision”, he wrote in a column in the Daily Mail. “My body feels a bit better for the break”.
Samoa were reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes when No. 8 Failfili Levave was sin-binned for making no attempt to tackle hooker Shota Horie, simply bending his shoulder into the Japanese player and sending him flying. They’ve still got a lot to play for. “The last time we played them they actually beat us, so we need to take that into consideration”. The 2012 Pacific Nations Cup showed a few of the beauty of the Japanese backs’ play. He’s an outstanding game-breaker and he’s been playing really well this tournament. “We probably left two tries out there today, and that was the disappointing thing, but we’ve got the U.S. next so hopefully we will then”.
The Newcastle city centre fanzone, located across the road from St James’ Park, will remain open for the remainder of this week, including on Friday and Saturday when Rugby World Cup returns to the city.
“It was a great atmosphere – it was vocal, real vocal”.