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PERSONAL: A match I will never forget

I got up at 2am this morning thinking I knew what I was going to see; but what happened next shocked me to my core, as it did to everyone else who watched.

Japan’s 34-32 win over South Africa in Brighton will go down as one of sports greatest moments. Beyond doubt, it is the greatest upset in the history of rugby, but the benefit of that match-winning try for for the game in Japan should be profound.

This wasn’t a lower tier nation that Japan beat; it was South Africa, a side who has won the Rugby World Cup twice before and are known as one of the great powerhouses on the international game.

Very rarely do we see South Africa lose; and it has never happened against a nation that, with all due respect, simply has never been in a position to be a viable contender for competition against the bigger nations, let alone victory.

But today something truly amazing happened on that rugby field and it will be remembered as perhaps rugby’s most heart-warming moment of recent history.

The Springboks should have put Japan away when Adriaan Strauss powered through the midfield and scored with little over ten minutes to go. The fact that Japan weren’t put away by 20 points or more will sit deep in anger inside all the Springbok supporters who watched, because they expected nothing more.

Personally, I was cheering Japan all the way, but I felt like them winning in the dying seconds was just a wish that bridged reality a little too far.

There wont be many rugby moments at this World Cup that will surprise me more, surely?

Well done Japan, well bloody done.

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