Japan went into their opening 2015 Rugby Union World Cup game against South Africa at Brighton Community Stadium at a massive quote of $67, but the Cherry Blossoms were able to stay with their rivals for the entire game and they completed the biggest upset in World Cup history when Karne Hesketh crossed for a try in injury-time.
Coach Eddie Jones has achieved plenty during his coaching career, but the colourful character believes that Sunday’s win could be the highlight along with the Wallabies memorable win over New Zealand at the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
“It’s dead set like a dream, can you ever imagine Japan beating South Africa,” Jones told Fairfax.
“I’m standing here in the streets of Brighton, and there are people walking down the streets with Japanese flags wrapped around them and they are not Japanese.
“The only time I’ve probably enjoyed a game more – and as a coach you don’t tend to enjoy games too much – was when we played that 2003 semi-final.
“That was a game no-one said we could win
“That was a game I enjoyed and I enjoyed this game.
“Again no-one really thought we could win the game.”
Japan currently sit in second position in Pool B, but they may still need to win their remaining three games to secure a place in the knockout stages of the Rugby World Cup for the first time.
Jones admits that Japan will face a tough assignment when they face Scotland at Kingsholm on Wednesday night (AEST) and he said that his side will not be underestimated again for the remainder of the tournament.
“We have a fantastic opportunity now, no doubt about it, but the hardest games now are to come up because we did catch South Africa on the hop,” Jones said.
“Now we won’t catch anyone on the hop.
“They are going to be much more prepared.
“We are going to see [Scotland] as a must-win game, so it’s really going to test us.”
“It’s going to be harder because we won’t be able to ambush Scotland at all.
“They will be able to have a good look at us and know how we play.
“Obviously we can make slight changes but they are going to be well prepared.
“South Africa probably took us a bit lightly, but Scotland won’t do that.
“That’s going to make it even more difficult.”
Despite their win over South Africa, Japan are still big underdogs in their second game as Scotland and are currently available at a quote of $5.25 with leading online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au.
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