Is anyone outside of South Africa barracking for the Springboks?
Japan qualified top of their pool with solid wins over Ireland and Scotland. No-one seriously anticipated their victories. Some considered victory over Scotland a remote possibility, setting up a loss to NZ in the Quarter finals. But the Brave Blossoms prevailed, proving that having a flower as your mascot doesn’t rule you out from being a good rugby team (Go Waratahs).
South Africa were pooled with the All Blacks and so their runner up status in the opening stages of the tournament is unfortunate yet predicable. They played the much better match against New Zealand, but the darkness can strike from anywhere. South Africa were dominant throughout, yet still behind on the scoreboard.
The Springboks will certainly be hoping for another crack at the All Blacks come November 2.
The host nation have been living the dream and riding the wave of success and momentum. But the fairy tale ends tonight. I will be barracking for the Brave Blossoms, but the Boks will be too strong. Lightning never strikes twice, I can’t see the Brighton miracle repeating.
Prediction: South Africa by 12