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Tokyo Calling - Rugby 2019

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    Originally posted by Antepli Ejderha View Post

    How was he? He comes across well and appears to be a little more relaxed than Gatland but there's an obvious edge to him.
    He was certainly relaxed but it was a social situation with a bit of rugby small talk so he had no reason not to be. I've been in similar situations with Gatland also present and he's definitely been more guarded but that's no surprise, both because that's his way and as he's been in the spotlight for so long.

    You're right that Gatland (and Edwards) leaving is a monumental change and I think we're only beginning to properly appreciate him now he's almost gone. The Welsh national situation is unrecognisable from 2007 and I'm concerned that following him is like replacing Alex Ferguson.

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      Good piece on the potential and challenges facing the development of rugby union in Japan

      But these are not ordinary times. Japan’s heroics at the Rugby World Cup – where they reached the quarter-finals before being beaten by South Africa – have helped to cultivate a new breed of rugby devotees, including this writer’s normally taciturn barber, who unbidden, brandished his clippers and offered an analysis of the Brave Blossoms’ decisive pool victory over Scotland – only the third rugby match he had ever watched.

      More than 54 million people in Japan followed that game on TV – almost half the population and a record for any rugby match. And so the superlatives go on: more than a million people crammed into fanzones and a quarter of a million Japan replica jerseys have been sold. And all this in the first Rugby World Cup in Asia.

      Rugby has arrived in Japan, but as England and South Africa prepare to play out its finale, some wonder if the fever will subside as soon as the last 30 men left standing walk off the pitch at the International Stadium Yokohama on Saturday night. That would be a frustrating rerun of the reaction four years ago after Japan’s shock win over South Africa in the Brighton Miracle, now eclipsed by victories this time around over Ireland and Scotland.

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        Am I the only one to find the use of "The Brave Blossoms" as incredibly patronising?

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          It doesn't translate well, and seems to resonate in Japan in a way that it is hard for us to appreciate.

          Though it can be said that associating male sports teams with red or white roses doesn't travel well either.

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            It was definitely just the Cherry Blossoms when I was a kid. I suspect it’s branding, as the baseball team now goes by Samurai Japan.

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              HOW CHERRY BLOSSOMS BECAME BRAVE BLOSSOMS - AGAINST SCOTLAND

              They do seem to really embrace the name over there.

              Christ, I miss Japan and miss the Rugby World Cup now it's over. I would have been on the plane right now.
              Last edited by Ray de Galles; 31-10-2019, 20:21.

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                Originally posted by Ray de Galles View Post
                Christ, I miss Japan
                Just yesterday I booked a bit of the second half of our honeymoon, which will be a cross-Japan extravaganza in Spring. Can barely wait. Extraordinary country.

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                  That pass to Beauden Barrett was like Hal Robson-Kanu's Cruyff turn on the Belgian defence.

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                    I know this is Wales B vs New Zealand B and a final between them wouldn't have been anything like this open but it's a cracking game. I reckon we've already seen more tries than we'll see tomorrow.

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                      I don't know about NZ B, a lot of people think this is the side they should have put out in the semi-final.
                      Last edited by Ray de Galles; 01-11-2019, 09:22.

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                        Originally posted by Ray de Galles View Post
                        I don't know about NZ B, a lot of people think this is the side they should have out in the semi-final.
                        Yup, no way is this a B team.

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                          Originally posted by Ray de Galles View Post
                          I don't know about NZ B, a lot of people think this is the side they should have put out in the semi-final.
                          Ben Smith looked particularly awesome.

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                            Enjoyable game, the whole atmosphere was better than previous 3rd/4th games, the ABs were noticeably more positive about it than in previous tournaments, when grim faces were compulsory. The hosts have helped in that regard, I think. The old attitude of "bad loser = winner" is fading from the AB mindset and the supporters, thankfully.

                            And no, it certainly wasn't a NZ B team, all the key positions were the regular starters. Wales gave it a go, didn't deserve a thrashing.

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                              The 3rd-4th game being a slog might need some revising. 2007 was great, I was at 2015 and found it enjoyable rugby, and today. I can’t remember 2011 or 2003, and 1999 was definitely miserable rugby.

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                                Bloody hell I'm excited about this!

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                                  He didn't miss one of those last week against Wales!

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                                    Better

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                                      I think SA have this.

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                                        12 - 6 SA half time.

                                        England being pushed around in the scrum, insecure at line out, have passed poorly and have been error prone at the restart.

                                        SA fully deserving this.

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                                          England certainly know how to make NZ feel worse. More mistakes in the first ten mins than the entire SF.

                                          I still think they'll win though. Seeing enough from broken play to get the try.

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                                            England were just this far away from scoring a try. If they score one then I think floodgates might open,

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                                              This isn't happening for England so far. SA really deserving their lead.

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                                                "Two little small victories for England" - Dallaglio

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                                                  Just turned on. Have I missed anything apart from penalty kicks?

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                                                    That's it.

                                                    Or is it...?

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