Rugby World Cup Match Reports
Throughout the next few weeks in Japan, Bet UK will be bringing you the latest Rugby World Cup match reports for the early match up on each day. With the time difference making some of the games hard to catch over here in the UK, make sure to keep coming back to Bet UK for our thoughts and opinions, as well as some betting odds and tips for each game. If you are looking for some previews of the games, head over to our Rugby World Cup betting tips for our previews of matches through the tournament. Remember you can get rugby betting odds for all Rugby World Cup matches over at Bet UK's online betting. If you are a fan of rugby and are looking forward to Premiership Rugby returning this month, then make sure to head over to Bet UK's Premiership Rugby betting tips, for pre season previews and weekly tips for the biggest matches.
Japan 28-21 Scotland Rugby World Cup Match Report
Scotland are on their way home from the World Cup after Japan put on a dazzling display of attacking rugby to win by 28-21 in the match that may never have been. The host nation have been the story of the tournament so far having finished top of Pool A to set up a quarter-final against South Africa. Japan were excellent for long spells against a Scottish side who needed to secure four more points than their opponents to proceed to the knock-out stages. Remember that you can get the latest rugby betting tips for all the Rugby World Cup matches over at Bet UK’s online betting markets. If you are a fan of rugby and are looking forward to Premiership Rugby returning this month, then make sure to head over to Bet UK's Premiership Rugby betting tips, for pre season previews and weekly tips for the biggest matches.
The Scots took an early lead through a Finn Russell try but trailed 21-7 at the break before mounting a spirited fightback in the second period which ultimately wasn’t quite enough as Japan hung on in the dying moments.
The Cherry Blossoms have competed in every World Cup since the inaugural tournament but have never reached the knock-out stage before. When Japan beat South Africa four years ago in Brighton, it was widely regarded as the biggest upset in Rugby Union history. Fast forward to 2019, and although they had never beaten Scotland in seven times of asking, having already powered past Ireland, this latest triumph now can’t even be considered an upset.
This was the biggest game in Japanese rugby history and the biggest Scotland have faced in years. With such an unprecedented build-up it was almost impossible to predict the outcome, but with the home nation roared on by the vast majority of the 72,000 wildly excited fans inside the International Stadium in Yokohama, this game will go down in Rugby World Cup history.
The Cherry Blossoms create a first-half storm of their own
Scotland may have got off to an encouraging start with Russell’s converted try on seven minutes, but as they did against Ireland, Japan refused to panic after falling behind early in the game.
As the Japanese attack began to buzz and bite as it had done in their previous three victories, the scores were soon level with a converted try on 18 minutes when Kotaro Matsushima powered over following a toss from irresistible winger Kenki Fukuoka.
Six minutes later and another flowing attack from Japan was rewarded as Pieter Labuschagne offloaded to prop Keita Inagaki to ground it under the posts with Yu Tamura converting the second of his four of the afternoon.
If Scotland thought they had weathered the first-half storm to keep within seven points of their opponents at half time, the scale of their second-period task would become evident on the stroke of 40 minutes when Fukuoka again powered over, collecting from a dinked chip from Tim Lafaele.
Tamura added the extras to make it 21-7 at the break and perhaps Scotland went into half time wishing they’d returned home with a Hagibis-gifted 0-0 two points instead of the storm which had erupted as Japan relentlessly battered their rearguard in a scintillating first half. Japan had even enjoyed the luxury of missing two first-half penalties and had produced the most entertaining rugby of the World Cup so far.
Second period - Scottish fightback comes up short
The game looked all but over once Kenki Fukuoka added his second try of the match three minutes from the restart. Tamura again converted to extend Japan’s lead to 21 points but Scotland took the kick up the backside well and were back within 14 when WP Nel powered his way over on 54 minutes.
Gregor Townsend’s men would still need 22 more unanswered points to force their way into the quarters but it looked game on five minutes later when Zander Fagerson touched down to bring the score to 28-21 with 35 minutes of play remaining.
Japan had been unable to keep their momentum from the first half going but despite Scotland’s efforts, the red-and-white defence remained organised and resolute throughout the remaining passages of play and the blue shirts could find no way through to add to their score.
Scotland had entered the second half with nothing to lose and had made a decent fist of making ground on Japan’s first-half lead but the Cherry Blossoms held out and withstood everything the Scots could throw at them at the end to earn a famous victory after an emotional week. Japan now face South Africa, as they look to continue their fairytale World Cup run in front of their home nation.
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