Boks lose 32-34 to Japan in historic defeat RWC2015

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19 September 2015: Japan's Ayumu Goromaru (2nd R) celebrates scoring their second try with teammates, in their RWC2015 1st round Pool B match against South Africa in Brighton.

19 September 2015: Japan's Ayumu Goromaru (2nd R) celebrates scoring their second try with teammates, in their RWC2015 1st round Pool B match against South Africa in Brighton.

web_photo_RWC2015_Japan_Ayumu_Goromaru_190915

19 September 2015: Japan's Ayumu Goromaru (2nd R) celebrates scoring their second try with teammates, in their RWC2015 1st round Pool B match against South Africa in Brighton.

19 September 2015: Japan's Ayumu Goromaru (2nd R) celebrates scoring their second try with teammates, in their RWC2015 1st round Pool B match against South Africa in Brighton.

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BRIGHTON -  Japan pulled off perhaps the biggest upset in Rugby World Cup history on Saturday, defeating two-time World Cup champions South Africa 34-32 in a ferocious encounter at Brighton Community Stadium.

 

 

 

Replacement Karne Hesketh raced in at the corner in the 84th minute to snatch victory from a pulsating contest in the Pool B opener.

Ferocious tackling from Japan kept them within two points of the Springboks at halftime (12-10) after driving mauls brought tries for South Africa&39;s Francois Louw and Bismarck du Plessis, with Michael Leitch touching down for Japan.

The reliable boot of fullback Ayumu Goromaru nudged Japan in front early in the second half, but that was quickly cancelled out by a try from South African lock Lood De Jager.

Both sides exchanged a series of penalties before Springboks snatched another try as replacement Adriaan Strauss burst through the defence.

(Pictured above: South Africa&39;s Adriaan Strauss in action before scoring their fourth try against Japan. Image: Reuters / Stefan Wermuth Livepic)

But then Japan found space out wide, sending Goromaru in at the corner; his conversion levelling the scores.

Another Springbok penalty looked like breaking Japanese hearts before Hesketh grabbed the winner in overtime.

(Pictured above: Japan&39;s Karne Hesketh scores his team&39;s third try against South Africa. Image: Reuters / Eddie Keogh Livepic)

It was a game Heyneke Meyer&39;s charges had expected to win, with this being South Africa&39;s most experienced side in Test history, having 851 caps in their XV.

Japan, however, was tenacious.

 

Scorers:                

South Africa :          
Tries: Francois Louw (18),Bismarck du Plessis (33),Lood De Jager (44),Adriaan Strauss (62)
Conversions: Patrick Lambie (19, 45),Handre Pollard (63)
Penalty Goals: Patrick Lambie (57),Handre Pollard (73)

Japan :                 
Tries: Michael Leitch (30),Ayumu Goromaru (69),Karne Hesketh (84)
Conversions: Ayumu Goromaru (31, 70)
Penalty Goals:Ayumu Goromaru (8, 43, 49, 54, 60)