Departing head coach salutes Brave Blossoms’ best RWC performance as they bow out against USA with a third victory
Japanese coach Eddie Jones signs autographs for fans after his team the Cherry Blossoms defeated the USA 28-18. Photo: World Rugby
GLOUCESTER – Eddie Jones could not conceal his delight after Japan capped a memorable RWC 2015 and completed a perfect send-off for the departing head coach with a 28-18 Pool B victory over USA at Kingsholm.
The Brave Blossoms became the first team in the tournament’s history to win three matches but miss out on qualification to the quarter-finals and Jones was full of praise for the team’s national “heroes”, who have made the world of rugby stand up and take notice since their opening tournament victory over South Africa.
“I want everything about this win today to be about the team,” Jones (pictured) said in his post-match press conference. “It’s not about my last game – all the players deserve credit.
Japan celebrate their 26-5 win after the game against Samoa. Photo: Reuters / Darren Staples Livepic
A record 25 million people in Japan watched their national team beat Samoa in the World Cup amidst mounting rugby fever, the global governing body says.
Twenty per cent of the entire Japanese population tuned in to Saturday’s match which the Brave Blossoms won 26-5 to record their second victory at the tournament, World Rugby said on Monday.
McKee has been touted as next coach for Japan’s new super rugby coach. Photo: Reuters
Fiji head coach John McKee is being touted as the frontrunner to take charge of Japan’s new Super Rugby team.
Fijian coach John McKee is coming to the fore as the favourite to replace Eddie Jones as the main man in Japanese rugby.
Japan’s fullback Ayumu Goromaru kicks for a penalty and has amassed 45 points in the competition. Photo: World Rugby
Prolific points scorer Ayumu Goromaru believes the Brave Blossoms, who play the USA next Sunday in their final pool match, have more to offer
To date at Rugby World Cup 2015, Japan have doubled their wins from all previous tournaments combined, and look more than capable of producing a third victory when they finish the pool phase next weekend against USA.
The Brave Blossoms have become everyone’s second-favourite team, and no one will criticise them if they fail to attain their goal of reaching the quarter-finals.
Greig Laidlaw kicks one of his penalties against Japan. Photo: World Rugby
Coach Eddie Jones makes no excuses for big defeat but Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw saw an exhausted Brave Blossoms
GLOUCESTER – Japan coach Eddie Jones refused to blame a short turnaround for his team’s one-sided defeat to Scotland. But in reality, three days were just not enough for the Brave Blossoms to recover from their monumental win over South Africa at the weekend.
“I said we wouldn’t use that excuse and we are not,” Jones said following a 45-10 loss on Wednesday, when asked about playing Scotland on such short rest. “Scotland were too good for us in the second half.”
Start of game super-important, says Eddie Jones. Photo: World Rugby
BRIGHTON – A fast start against Scotland will be imperative if Japan are to make it two wins out of two and put one foot through the door to the quarterfinals, coach Eddie Jones said on Monday.
The Brave Blossoms have become media darlings of the tournament following their 34-32 victory over South Africa and it was standing-room only in as Jones unveiled his line-up for Wednesday’s match in Gloucester.
For what he dubbed his team’s “most important game” at Rugby World Cup 2015, Jones replaced six players from the Springboks match and made two positional changes, Harumichi Tatekawa shifting to fly-half from centre and Kotaro Matsushima switching wings.
The Japanese side celebrates after the upset defeat of two-time world champions South Africa. Photo: Getty Images
Scottish fly-half Duncan Weir insists the Scotland squad were not shocked by Japan beating South Africa and says it acts as a warning ahead of Wednesday’s meeting.
“We understood that Japan are a growing nation and they’ve been playing some good rugby,” said Weir.