The Darling of RWC 2019
Japan is the best team in Asia and is currently ranked 7th in the world after beating rugby powerhouses Ireland, Scotland and Samoa in RWC 2019. They qualified to the quarterfinals for the first time and won the hearts of fans around the world. After the win against Scotland, fans rushed to buy the Brave Blossoms’ jersey until it ran out of stock around the world!
Loses early, but wins ultimately
South Africa is the first team in RWC history to lose a pool game (against the All Blacks, 23-13), and then go on to win the Rugby World Cup. Previous World Cup champions have won all their pool games.
8 red cards
This is the highest number of red cards flashed in a RWC, as World Rugby tightened the high tackle ruling. The previous record of red cards was in 1995 and 1999 – 4 red cards each.
3 cancelled games
Typhoon Hagibis claimed about 80 lives and 11 are still missing. Due to safety reasons, the England vs France, New Zealand vs Italy and Canada vs Namibia games were cancelled.
First Asian RWC host
Before Japan, the RWC was organized either in Great Britain, France or the southern hemisphere rugby powerhouses of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.
Photo: SA Rugbymag
First black captain for the South African team
Siya Kolisi is the first black African to captain his country and also has the honour of being the first black African captain to win the coveted William Web Ellis trophy.
Francois Steyn joins an exclusive club
The South African full back joined an elite group of men and they won the Web Ellis cup twice - first in 2007 and 12 years later in 2019. The 32-year-old joined fellow countrymen Os Du Randt who won his first RWC in 1995 and later with Steyn in 2007. In the same group, ther weare also 6 Australians and 13 Kiwis.
Photo: Planet Rugby
Eddie Jones won a 2nd silver medal
The England coach has never won the RWC as a head coach. As an assistant, Jones helped the South African side win their 2nd world champion title, beating England in 2007. In 2003, Jones was the head coach of his native country Australia as they lost to England in the finals, losing to the drop goal of Jonny Wilkinson.
Japan broadcaster NHK reported that there were 54.8 million viewers for the final Pool A match between Japan and Scotland, which is a record! Mind you, these were the views in Japan alone, and the number is equivalent to more than half of the population of the country! There were also about 1.7 billion video digital views, another record!
Ticket sales record
1.84 million tickets were sold with a record attendance of 99.3%. It’s the highest sale and attendance record in RWC history. 1.13 million fans visited the fan zone to watch the games, which is another milestone. And good news for the hosts - it’s estimated the RWC delivered an economic impact of 437 billion Yen to Japan.
By: Capo Rod
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