Japan Shocks South Africa at the Rugby World Cup

By Anthony Zurcher

In an upset of incomprehensible proportions, Japan’s rugby team defeated the heavily favored South Africans in their first match of the Rugby World Cup. Only four teams have ever beaten South Africa in a World Cup match: the New Zealand All Blacks, Australia, England, and … Japan. Standing among these monsters of the rugby pitch is no small feat in a sport notorious for its unbalanced competition and “heavyweight” teams consistently winning year after year. Pundits are already dubbing Japan’s victory a “miracle” comparable to the US hockey team beating the Soviets in 1980, Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson in 1990, or even the Giants defeating the Patriots in the 2007 Superbowl. Japan faces Scotland in their next match, and interestingly hosts the next Rugby World Cup in 2019.