Drama in Yokohama!!!
Following the war of words between Scotland and World Rugby about the potential cancelation of this fixture, all eyes were on Yokohama when the game was given the green light.
This was, without a doubt, the best game of this World Cup so far.
Scotland scored first in this fast paced and frenetic fixture.
Japan returned serve with 21 unanswered points to go into the half time break 21 – 7. The noise in the stadium was immense.
Two minutes into the second half, Japan scored a 4th try, securing the bonus point and making Scotland’s task that little bit harder. Scotland now not only had to win but do so by more than 8 points to prevent Japan from gaining the additional bonus point and progressing.
A couple of quick tries to Scotland brought the scores to 28 – 21 in favour of the Japanese. It would remain at that score until the final whistle.
Tempers flared in the 60th minute following a Japanese turnover, which required referee Ben O’Keefe to ‘have a chat’ with both captains.
Exceptional refereeing throughout the match enhanced this already brilliant game.
With 10 minutes to go, Scotland were hot on attack and looked good for a try or two. But Japan’s defence was impenetrable.
Japan controlled the ball for the final 2 minutes of the match, keeping ball in hand deep in their own 22 before clearing the ball upon hearing the final siren.
Japan not only win the match and top their pool, they also make the finals for the first time ever.
Next week Japan will play the Springboks and the host nation will be praying for a repeat of their 2015 heroics.
Go the Brave Blossoms!!!
Final Score: Japan 28 – Scotland 21