Japan Eliminated from Rugby World Cup after Loss to South Africa
Tokyo, Oct. 20 (Jiji Press)--Host Japan's impressive campaign in the Rugby World Cup came to an end after losing to South Africa 26-3 in their quarterfinal match in Chofu, Tokyo, Sunday.
Japan was eventually eliminated from the tournament after reaching the quarterfinals for the first time in the country's history. Japan won all four of its group games to top Pool A, including an upset against Ireland.
In Sunday's match at the Tokyo Stadium, two-time Rugby World Cup champion South Africa led Japan 5-3 at halftime after an early try was followed by a penalty goal from Japan fly-half Yu Tamura. Japan was scoreless in the second half.
The audience applauded the Japanese national team loud and long even after the match finished.
"They gave me a dream," said Naoto Fukai, a 46-year-old corporate employee from the city of Saitama, north of Tokyo. "I hadn't thought that they would reach the quarterfinals. I appreciate this so much."
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]