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Friday, November 1, 2019 8:32:18 AM

The aftermath of Ireland's defeat to Japan was no different as expected. And I love to see Irish people doing well. Grounded "Some people say the team is full of posh, schoolboy rugby players. But you couldn't meet a more grounded kind of group of people. In my opinion, they didn't underestimate Japan.

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They have been well worthy of their place as well. It basically showed that their own over Ireland was no fluke.

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They are happy to keep the ball alive and move it through the hands quickly. They have been exceptional and will look forward to a rematch against South Africa who they famously beat in the pool stage of the Rugby World Cup.

Japan are happy to play the game at pace and the amount of individual match-winners that they have like Kotaro Matsushima tournament joint top-try scorer after the pool stage is wonderful. Can they take their journey a step further? South Africa arrived at the tournament marked as one of the teams with the potential to walk away with the title.

That was because of their very strong showing at the Rugby Championship this year and them growing in statue under Rassie Erasmus, who has revolutionised and refreshed what was a tired-looking national side. Handre Pollard and Cheslin Kolbe have been huge for them in that regard.

They had a tough start to the tournament in taking on New Zealand and they fell short in a defeat.

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They have the physicality to unsettle Japan without question. The Springboks are very strong, very direct and it would be a massive shock if they were to fall against Japan again.

They are at a vastly different level to where they were four years ago and can handle the situation. It is worth noting that the two nations met in a pre-tournament friendly and South Africa dominated the match, stacking up over 40 points. Japan will have their moments, but will probably bow out.

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