Japan Wins Against South Africa at the Rugby World Cup

November 23, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. shocking / ˈʃɒk ɪŋ / (adj.) – referring to something that causes surprise
Example: The result of the game was very shocking.

2. upset / ˈʌpˌsɛt / (n.) – refers to something that happened unexpectedly
Example: Winning the competition was a big upset.

3. pursue / pərˈsu / (v.) – to continue doing something
Example: The team pursued the game with confidence.

4. expect / ɪkˈspɛkt / (v.) – to think that something will happen
Example: Everyone expected that the team with bigger players would win the game.

5. roster / ˈrɒs tər / (n.) – a list
Example: James has been included in the official team roster


Read the text below.
Japan bested two-time world champion South Africa in a shocking Rugby World Cup match.

Scoring 34-32, the win of Japan’s Brave Blossoms against South Africa’s Springboks caused one of the biggest upsets in Rugby World Cup history. With 10 minutes left, the Japanese fans began to cheer loudly when Brave Blossoms’ Ayumu Goromaru scored to tie them with the Springboks at 29-29.

In the remaining seven minutes, Handre Pollard got South Africa ahead to 32-29. Japan had its chance to kick for a draw, but turned it down. They then pursued the match, passing the ball from left to right, and finally, Karne Hesketh led them to victory.

South Africa has won the World Cup twice, while Japan has not won a World Cup game in more than a decade. Japan’s last win dates back to October 1991 against Zimbabwe, while South Africa has won both the 1995 and 2007 World Cup.  Japan coach Eddie Jones admits that while he knew the Brave Blossoms could compete against the Springboks, he did not expect that they would win against the two-time champions.

Jones says that he is optimistic that the team's success will change the face of rugby in Japan. Rugby is not widely known in the country, so Brave Blossoms’ victory came as a shock to the Japanese.

Coach Jones predicts that this recent victory will cause more Japanese to be more interested in the sport. He also predicts that the Brave Blossoms’ star players will finally be in the roster of well-known athletes in Japan.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         How do you feel about Japan’s victory over South Africa?
·         Do you agree that this will make rugby more popular in Japan? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What do you think makes a sport popular?
·         What do you think this victory means to Japan?

November 23, 2015