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.
Fiji’s flanker Peceli Yato clashes into Australian James Slipper in their match two weeks ago in Cardiff. Photo: SMH
Fiji’s blindside flanker, 22-year-old Peceli Yato, outplayed his opposite number Australian 31-year-old Scott Fardy in all facets of their Rugby World Cup match at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
According to World Rugby stats Yato gained 31 metres with the ball in hand compared to Fardy’s 13 metres and in defence Yato scored a 100 percent tackling with four of his attempts compared to 89 percent of Fardy’s with eight attempts.
Fiji still needs head coach John McKee’s direction. Photo: EPA
Flying Fijian coach John McKee has denied reports that he was heading to Japan after the Rugby World Cup.
“There has been some media speculation but I am committed to Fiji rugby,” McKee said to the media in the post-match conference at the MK Stadium in Milton Keynes in England.
Nemani Nadolo attacks for Fiji against Uruguay in their Pool A match at mk Stadium in Milton Keynes, England. Photo: World Rugby
Fiji ended their Rugby World Cup campaign on a high with a 47-15 win over 14-man Uruguay in Milton Keynes on Tuesday.
John McKee’s men were determined to end the tournament on a positive note after coming in with such high hopes, and did so by scoring seven tries, including two penalty tries stemming from their dominant scrum.
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.
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.
Wales skipper Sam Warburton says Fiji has improved from the team that Wales defeated 66-0 in 2011. Photo: World Rugby
CARDIFF – They might have been decimated by injury, but Wales will forget all about their unprecedented misfortune if they make it three successive Pool A victories, at the expense of Fiji, in the Millennium Stadium on Thursday (Friday morning FT).
Having arrived at Rugby World Cup 2015 without his irrepressible full-back and goal-kicker Leigh Halfpenny, first-choice scrum-half Rhys Webb and centre Jonathan Davies, coach Warren Gatland has since lost Corey Allen to a hamstring tear and Scott Williams and Hallam Amos to knee and shoulder injuries respectively.