There are many unforgettable scenes. There are as many memories as the number of people involved. No matter what scene you cut out, there are people with good faces. The Rugby World Cup (RWC) Japan tournament was a tournament that I wanted to remember again and again. I served as a pitch side report as a commentator of JSPORTS who relayed all the matches, and commentary at the broadcast seat. I was impressed by the Japanese fans who supported overseas teams with overseas supporters, and I was impressed by the encouragement to the Japanese national team. I reported from the pitch for the second game against Ireland and the third game against Samoa, but I can’t forget the great cheering shower that pours over me.
Tears spilled unexpectedly in the quarter-final national anthem singing, where the Japanese national team, who entered the final tournament for the first time, played against South Africa. Japanese supporters powerfully sanged KIMIGAYO (Japanese national anthem). Some people have complicated feelings about the national anthem. However, the audience seat at that moment only had the desire to boost the Japanese national team. When the crying face of SH Nagare Yutaka became a close-up on a large vision, tears overflowed.
It was the Japanese national team that made such an atmosphere. The fourth consecutive pool game is the result of careful preparation and hard training. The Japanese national team won three rounds in the 2015 match against the pool, but was unable to advance to the final tournament due to differences in points. Since 2016, hard training has been imposed since 2016, which was considered “the world’s toughest”. In 2019, Japan’s representative players lived with team mate for more than 200 days, strategizing strategies and tactics to win, and getting ready for the opening round. In the opening round (September 20, Tokyo Stadium), Russia continued to make mistakes due to tension, but there was a hat trick (3 tries) by Kotaro Matsushima.
“If you look back, that game was good,” Jamie Joseph head coach said. In a mentally driven situation, we won in a situation where I could not perform as I expected. As a result, the second round (October 28, Shizuoka Ecopa Stadium) was able to drastically turn the Reach Michael Captain into reserve and prepare for the second half, making Peter Rabskahuni the captain. As a result, the reach activities that inspired the mid-course change changed the flow. At the start, the Japanese national team gained momentum by winning Ireland, which was ranked first in the world.
The game against Scotland, which decided to advance to the final tournament, was the result of repeated practice in every try. Kotaro Matsushima’s first try was an off-road pass set by Kenki Fukuoka. In the first half of the 26th minute Keita Inagaki’s trial, Shota Horie, James Moore, and William Toupou joined the off-road pass. “Off-road pass” is named “off-road” because it passes to the next player to unload luggage while being tackled. This is the skill he has practiced repeatedly. In the 40-minute Fukuoka trial, Rafael Timothy ran Fukuoka with a kick behind the defense. The strategy of using kicks behind the defense has been in use since 2016. The third half of Fukuoka’s try was a solo run that took the ball into the opponent’s arm and pulled it away. This skill was also practiced by a coach from New Zealand. Careful preparation, such as accurate analysis of the opponent team and acquisition of skills to win, supported the rapid progress. And of course, it was supported by the fans.
The Japanese national team overcame the physique handy with intense practice, speed and skill. Even scrums, which have been said to be advantageous in large body sizes, were combined more than equally by being held together by eight people. Media and coaches around the world praised the battle. Many Japanese people were excited by the fact that diverse teams from seven countries came together to challenge the powerhouse. There are few fouls and we can be proud of having fought in the fair. There is no dangerous play that would injure the opponent and no complaints were made to the referee. The rapid advance of the Japanese national team that continued to fight in the fair increased the value of the first Rugby World Championship held in Japan.
It wasn’t just intense play in the field that caught the hearts of the Japanese people. After the game, the team enjoyed the coolness inherent in sports, such as the appearance of both teams celebrating good luck and the gestures of bowing to the audience and showing gratitude. I heard many times from many japanese, “Rugby is such an interesting sport”.
The RWC Japan tournament was a great success box office. The total number of spectators was 1,704,443, and the average number of spectators per game was 37,877 (excluding 3 pool games that were canceled due to the typhoon). The most spectator mobilization was 70,103 people in the final against England against South Africa, which changed the record of the most frequent mobilization of the venue (the previous record was the 2002 FIFA World Cup Final). Ticket sales are about 99.3%. These achievements show that the Japan Games attracted high interest and attention from all over the world. NHK audience rating, which broadcasted Japan vs. South Africa, averaged over 40%. In addition, the cumulative number of visitors to the 16 fan zones in various parts of Japan exceeded the 1 million recorded in RWC2015.
The fan zone set up at Meriken Park in Kobe was also crowded. The author also asked, but it was a great day even without a representative from Japan. A live musician stage was held, and at the corner of Seiji Hirao, who died in 2016, many visitors stopped and looked at the photos and the jersey they were wearing. There was also a corner where Mr. Hirao wrote a message, and I also write it to him. “Hirao-san, This is exciting for us, thanks”.
Four games were held at the Misaki Park Stadium in Kobe City, and the following mobilization was recorded.
September 26 (Thu) England vs America = 27,194
September 30 (Mon) Scotland vs Samoa = 27,586
October 3 (Thur) Ireland vs Russia = 26,856
October 8 (Tue) South Africa vs Canada = 28,014
The tournament ended with the victory of South Africa, where various ethnicities and races were fused, but there were many good impressions, but it was controversial that several English players who lost in the final lost their medals immediately. There is no way to criticize the act of removing the medal itself. But that’s not why England was become reason to lose. We have no way of knowing what the removed player fought on his back. Maybe I regretted it right away. You may think that it should not have been removed after 10 years or 20 years. Rugby has the power to think about that action. I want to believe so. That’s why the RWC Japan tournament grabbed people’s hearts. Rugby opens people’s hearts and expresses honest feelings. It was 44 days that I felt that rugby is a sport that learns emotional control for us.
- List of other articles
- Profile of Koichi Murakami
- Rugby Jana list。Kyoto Prefectural duck linyi high school → Osaka College of physical education。
Career positions、CTB/FB。Represent 86 years West Japan students compete in the East and West against。4/87 baseball magazine joined、Rugby Magazine Editorial Department。6/90 from 2/97 magazine’s editor in Chief.。Press and Office 6/98、Freelance editors、As a reporter。Rugby magazine、Number (Bungei Shunjyu) contributing about Rugby。Ongoing since 1998 also the J SPORTS Rugby commentator。In 1999,、03 years、07 years、11 years、At the World Cup in 15 years served as a commentator from the local。
He is the author、”Rugby fans diary talk collection” (baseball magazine) vol 3、Among others believed fellow (junior of Iwanami)。