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Hosts Japan Stun Ireland In Shizuoka

Hosts Japan Stun Ireland In Shizuoka

Japan stunned world number two-ranked Ireland to pick up their second successive victory at the Rugby Union World Cup. The Brave Blossoms lived up to their nickname as they came from behind to beat one of the pre-tournament favourites.

Garry Ringrose and Rob Kearney crossed in the first half to give Ireland a 12-9 half time lead after Yu Tamura had kicked three penalties. But Japan came out fighting and took the lead on 59 minutes when replacement Kenki Fukuoka went over in the corner. Tamura kicked a further penalty with eight minutes remaining to wrap up a historic 19-12 win for the hosts.

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Japan have never made it beyond the pool stages in eight previous attempts but back-to-back victories at this year’s event has put them in a very strong position. Japan’s Pieter Labuschagne on BBC Radio 5 Live: “We are really happy, it is difficult to put it into words, just proud of every boy.

That was a great game (against South Africa), but we came into this tournament with a new goal and knew what we wanted to do. We backed ourselves going into this game. “I just want to thank each and everyone for coming out to support us, you were amazing.” It’s the first time Ireland have lost to a non-Tier 1 nation at the Rugby World Cup, having won their previous 15 games.

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