Rugby World Cup: Boks coach Erasmus can’t take eyes off ‘scary’ Japan


Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus arrived later than he normally does for his team’s pre-game warmup in Toyota. Turns out he couldn’t take his eyes off another Rugby World Cup game.

Somewhere in the backrooms at the City of Toyota Stadium, Erasmus was instead glued to the TV for the Japan-Ireland epic in Shizuoka, which ended less than an hour before his team’s game against Namibia.

“I watched that game right to the end,” Erasmus said.

CHRISTOPHE ENA/AP

“It’s also a bit of a scary option,” South Africa’s coach Rassie Erasmus said on the thought of meeting Japan in the quarterfinals.

And apart from the great drama of Japan’s 19-12 upset victory over Ireland, which shook up the World Cup, it might also have been time well invested by Erasmus.

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Should Japan keep its stunning run going in Pool A, and South Africa clinches second in Pool B, it’ll be Japan vs the Springboks in the quarterfinals.

Japan wave to their supporters after defeating Ireland 19-12 in their Rugby World Cup Pool A game.

JAE C HONG/AP

Japan wave to their supporters after defeating Ireland 19-12 in their Rugby World Cup Pool A game.

And that’ll put South Africa in Japan’s sights once again. The Boks have been there before, beaten in the last seconds by Japan at Rugby World Cup 2015 for the biggest shock in the tournament’s history before Saturday in Shizuoka.

Erasmus said a quarterfinal against the host nation is now “a realistic option” if South Africa can get past Italy, the biggest challenge it has left in the pool stage.

“It’s also a bit of a scary option,” Erasmus said, following his team’s big victory over Namibia in their second World Cup match.

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Publish date : 2019-09-28 18:23:00

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