The first game: England v Fiji was at 9h00. We watched the kick-off and then went to bed. I awoke at 10h55 and went through to the entertainment area to see who had won. The final score was being queried by the TMO /Television Match Official upstairs. The result came through in favor of England's try being awarded and they beat Fiji 35/11. I could report this back to my sleeping husband!
On Saturday afternoon we watched Ireland v Canada. What an amazing match by the world-class team from the Emerald Isle. Yet, although they seemed to dominate the game it took nothing away from Canada. In fact, when the first Canadian try was denied (by the dratted TMO!), we here in SA, booed the decision. Finally the second try made by a former South African called Van der Merwe-now playing for Canada-and we here in the Southern Hemisphere cheered like mad.
The long-awaited and much-discussed match between South Africa and Japan eventually appeared on the screen.
Skabenga, (this is his first Rugby World Cup!) sensed the anticipation in the air, and pulled his blankie up to watch with the crazy yoomens
Great feelings of patriotism as the Springboks and supporters in the Brighton Stadium sing the SA National Anthem
Please DO click on the above link to hear our beautiful anthem - the best in the world - sung in five national languages! (I know blogger friends like, Mad Snapper / Sandra and Birding for Pleasure/Margaret will check it out!). It's also the only neo-modal national anthem to start in one key and end in another.
Rina, knitting dishcloths as Christmas stocking fillers, doesn't seem to be that interested
(but she says she was, LOL!)
Grant kept saying: Don't underestimate the Japanese and their coach Eddy Jones (who, incidentally, led SA to world cup victory in 1995)
The Japanese National Anthem was beautiful albeit very short!
From the outset, we could see that Japan was not the pushover team it had been made out to be.The Japanese team controlled the scrums which have always been SA's strength
Great excitement though when this South Afrcan try widened the score
Even though SA had the lead here, the Springbok coach was biting his nails!
The watch-dog had come to the conclusion that rugby was for the birds!
Due to tension and nerves, I can't remember much after half-time except that Japan was now level with SA!
A few minutes later SA received a penalty and kicked to make the score 32/29. I can 't remember watching as I was far too tense at this stage, because SA then proceeded to be pushed to their limits and gave away a crucial penalty to Japan.
Although Japan could have opted to kick bringing them level with SA and so end the game on a draw, they took the scrum
There ensued seven nail-biting phases in extra time (Grant and I were standing against the screen to get a better view).
And then Japan struck!
The dye was cast! Japan beat Springboks 34/32 and caused one of the biggest upsets in World Cup Rugby (and in South Africa!)
As I do this post on Sunday afternoon, USA is playing Samoa. (I'd better go and watch!) So SA needs to do something in this coming week to up their game else they could be on the plane coming home next Sunday.
Here's wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.