We didn’t change anything in training after the result, but it’s certainly made a few guys sit up and take notice. A notoriously physical side, the Springboks may not have come away with the win, but they will have a full seven days to recover from the game, while Japan has just four. “It simply reinforced what we already knew”.
“We expect them to be just as ferocious, just as driven and well-organised against us”.
Not many people bet on a Japan win on Saturday, and if they did, they didn’t go into work on Monday due to early retirement.
“They could have taken the three points and settled for the draw, instead they went for the win”.
“I think everyone was impressed by their commitment”.
“Their overall game spoke volumes for their intentions in this World Cup“.
Scotland head coach Vern Cotter will put out a near first-choice line-up as he looks to avoid becoming the second side to slip up against Rugby World Cup shock troops Japan.
Grant Gilchrist will partner Jonny Gray in the second-row, with Ryan Wilson, John Hardie and No 8 David Denton named as the starting loose forwards.
He said: “Next it’s the most important game in the World Cup, against Scotland”.
“We weren’t surprised with Japan’s performance”, he said.
“There are going to be periods where they are dominating and we will have to adapt. There will be no complacency from us in this game”.
“They will be very hard to play against”.
“The crucial part about any game played in Gloucester is that it’s one of the game’s great spiritual homes”, said Jones, laying it on with a man-sized trowel. Mafi impressed as a replacement against South Africa, making the most metres and beating the most defenders of any Japanese forward, despite only taking to the pitch in the 45th minute. In the back line, Kenki Fukuora gets a start on the wing while Yu Tamura will partner Male Sa’u in the centres. Japan coach Eddie Jones has clearly set out a target for his team of securing a place in the last 16.
But he insists this Kingsholm clash is of even greater importance to their World Cup hopes. The bus shelter opposite, however, which exhorts would-be passengers to “Beat the rugby traffic”, was another favourite, along with another place of local worship the Destiny Temple – not open on Tuesday to give advice on Wednesdsay’s outcome.
If rugby’s tectonic plates shifted last weekend, then the organiser of that seismic movement was in Gloucester yesterday looking for another slice of the sport’s history.
Goromaru is able to counter-attack effectively, so if Scotland don’t kick intelligently to him, he will force the Scots to chase the game. It’s a quick turnaround but we’re used to that.
“We’ve made a number of changes, brought in Amanaki (Lelei Mafi) at No 8, Kosei (Ono) the stand-off has a slight groin injury”.
“It didn’t really teach us anything”, Cotter replied.