Sport: How the Brave Blossoms captured global attention at the Rugby World Cup - - PressFrom - Australia
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Sport How the Brave Blossoms captured global attention at the Rugby World Cup

09:50  21 october  2019
09:50  21 october  2019 Source:   msn.com

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The Brave Blossoms ' sensational run to the knockout stages for the first time, their move up to sixth in the world rankings, and their determination to keep going for that When a team of amateur players represented Japan at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games they were within one win of a famous triumph.

Rugby World Cup hosts Japan take on South Africa today in the quarter-final as they look to progress to semi-finals to take on Wales or France. UK viewers will be able to watch Rugby World Cup clash live on ITV. Springboks are strong favourites to win their clash against Brave Blossoms .

They dared to dream, and when it all came to an end, the faces of the Brave Blossoms said it all. 

Japan was unbeaten in the tournament before Sunday night's historic quarter-final, beyond what the host country could ever have believed possible.

Down by two points at half time, in their own unique way, Japan was in control. 

But it wasn’t enough for Kiwi Jamie Joseph’s team to go one step further.

Pictures: All the teams from RWC 2019

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Brave Blossoms beat South Africa in 2015 World Cup . Winners play Wales in the semi-finals. He captained the national side at the 1991 World Cup and was coach from 1997-2000. Japanese rugby writer Oliver Trenchard has mapped out how Japan became a force to be reckoned with - give it a

How Rugby World Cup 2019 will help fund the global game. MILTON KEYNES, 3 Oct - The Brave Blossoms are back in bloom, rejuvenated in body and mind after the strength-sapping defeat to Scotland.

"I’m just so proud of my team; the courage, tenacity, and determination," Joseph said.

And that’s how the underdogs captured the attention of the world, and possibly more importantly, their own country.  

It’s hard to believe that  world cup rugby lagged in popularity to tennis, football and even golf, because on Sunday night, about 60 million people; half the japanese population, tuned in to watch the Brave Blossoms play their first ever quarter final.

Jamie Joseph, Yasuhiro Kido, Michael Leitch are posing for a picture: Sunday night's effort wasn't enough for the Brave Blossoms. © Video - Newshub; Image - Photosport Sunday night's effort wasn't enough for the Brave Blossoms.

Japan’s four-week fairytale is over, and the tournament will be poorer for it.

The start of something special?

SANZAAR needs to get moving if it wants Japan to be part of an expanded Rugby Championship.

Newshub has learned the key could lie with a shock return to Super Rugby for The Sunwolves. The team was dropped from the competition earlier this year, with Japanese Rugby’s refusal to underwrite the team’s participation beyond 2020.

But it’s understood the board that made that decision has changed, and with it, attitudes within the union towards Japan’s participation in Super Rugby.

A 15 team round-robin competition is expected to be discussed at a SANZAAR meeting this Friday, along with how to get Japan into the Rugby Championship.

a man holding a football ball © Provided by MediaWorks NZ Limited

Japan’s exciting brand of Rugby displayed on the biggest stage now means the game has a captive audience in a vital market, making Japan one of the most valuable properties in World Rugby.

"The players and the brand of rugby we've been playing all year is inspiring," Joseph said.

SANZAAR’s time to strike, is now.

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