Brown Says Japan’s Speed Can See Them Beat Springboks
KUMAGAYA, Japan (Sept. 5) – Japan assistant coach Tony Brown said Thursday the Brave Blossoms were capable of beating the Springboks if they are able to play the high-pace game developed by Jamie Joseph.
“We think we have the style of game that can put South Africa under pressure,” he said following Japan’s captain’s run at Kumagaya Rugby Stadium.
“It’s a game based on speed and if we do that right we think we have the game to beat them.”
That plan will, said centre Timothy Lafaele, involve attacking the weaknesses the Japan coaching crew have been able to find in the South Africa game.
“They don’t have many weaknesses but we have found a few,” he said.
It will also mean Japan have to stop the big Springbok pack.
“We want to limit the number of a set pieces,” Brown said. “So we hope the ball doesn’t go out and that no-one drops it.”
The two sides have met just once before with Japan famously winning 34-32 in Brighton, England, at Rugby World Cup 2015 – a game few people have forgotten, including the Springboks.
“We still have a memory of that game and are not looking past (this Friday),” said South Africa captain Siya Kolisi.
And he said Japan were an even better side now.
“They are a much fitter and stronger team, their systems are working and they know their strengths,” he said. “It’s going to be a whole new challenge.”
Japan, however, are trying to take the challenge in their stride, pointing out that there are bigger games to come, with the World Cup kicking off in two weeks.
“We’re not necessarily planning to play (South Africa), we’re planning to play Russia and the games that follow that,” said Brown.