Japan puts bravery on full display at Rugby World Cup

first_img Three South African players try to bring down Japan’s Amanaki Lelei Mafi during their game on Saturday. | KYODO “And then they asked do we want to see it again. It’s the patronization of Japanese rugby. They just say we are brave and do our best but can’t win. But I haven’t spent the last four years so we can be treated like a joke. We are not here to be a joke side, we are here to win games.”Japan’s sensational victory over two-time champion South Africa over the weekend gave Jones the win he craved and will ensure his side will no longer be regarded as a joke.The manner of the win will also ensure the words “Brave” and “Japan” continue to go hand in hand.Japan captain Michael Leitch’s decision to forego a kick at goal in the dying seconds that could have earned his side a draw had most Japanese fans in the stadium pulling their hair in disbelief.But his courage was vindicated when Karne Hesketh dived over minutes later to seal what many are saying is the greatest sporting upset ever.But Leitch’s fearlessness was nothing compared to the bravery shown by the man who provided the scoring pass.Back in December, Amanaki Lelei Mafi was lying in a hospital bed wondering if he would ever play rugby again after dislocating his hip.But he made a miraculous recovery, and 40 minutes of club rugby for NTT Communications Shining Arcs was enough to persuade Jones the big No. 8 was fit.Mafi marked his return to test match rugby with a last minute try as Japan pipped Georgia in its final warm-up game, before taking center stage when he came off the bench in the 45th minute on Saturday.Time and time again he caused problems for the Springboks with his power and pace, before a good handoff and a well-timed pass put Hesketh away for the “try heard around the world.”“Even when I had the serious injury I always stayed positive to do what I do and do the ‘Japan Way’, ” Mafi said following Sunday’s training session at Brighton College.When asked what the “Japan Way” meant to him, Mafi said: “We didn’t want to draw. If we lose we can lose. ‘Japan Way’ is all about playing for the win. That’s why we made the decision to go for the try and get the five points.”Mafi said the feeling when Hesketh scored was unlike anything he had experienced in his life.“I just sat down after the game, thanked God and thought how making the decision to play for Japan (instead of Tonga) was the best decision I ever made in my life.”Hesketh had high praise for the man who made the scoring pass.“He has raw talent, raw power and speed,” Hesketh said. “He is a huge prospect for Japanese rugby.” South Africa, Brave Blossoms, Eddie Jones, 2015 Rugby World Cup, Amanaki Lelei Mafi, Springbkos GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES RELATED PHOTOScenter_img KEYWORDS BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – Eddie Jones was not a happy man last week when Japan was formally welcomed to the Rugby World Cup.“They showed a history of Japan at the World Cup and it was terrible,” he said prior to the Brave Blossoms Pool B opener against South Africa. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img read more

Video | Poythress: ‘Wanna call us soft, come play us’

first_img Session ID: 2020-09-18:1dada5b0d4240d8f84d4398 Player ID: videojs-brightcove-player-740818-4654462312001 OK Close Modal DialogCaption Settings DialogBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsDefaultsDoneClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.UK’s Alex Poythress says if people “wanna call us soft, come play us.” Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%0:00 Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1ChaptersChaptersdescriptions off, selectedDescriptionssubtitles off, selectedSubtitlescaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedCaptionsAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window. The Video Cloud video was not found. Error Code: VIDEO_CLOUD_ERR_VIDEO_NOT_FOUNDlast_img read more