Thursday 21 March 2019

Was this the moment of the Rugby World Cup?

Japan celebrate victory over South Africa during the Rugby World Cup
Japan celebrate victory over South Africa during the Rugby World Cup

The 2015 World Cup has witnessed some unforgettable tries scored by many wonderful players.

Heading into the final weekend of action, a total of 263 touchdowns had been posted at an average of 5.71 per game.

There are many contenders for try of the tournament - Julian Savea's demolition job for New Zealand against France, Australia fly-half Bernard Foley's brilliantly-executed training ground move that shredded England's defence, Fiji centre Vereniki Goneva's long-range stunner against Wales, Canada wing DTH Van Der Merwe's solo effort that blitzed Italy. So the list goes on.

But perhaps the most memorable and symbolic try came on the tournament's opening weekend at an unlikely rugby setting of Brighton Community Stadium.

It was Saturday, September 19, the day when Japan floored southern hemisphere heavyweights South Africa 34-32.

Trailing by three points in injury time, Eddie Jones' men somehow kept their nerve and composure, going through phase after patient phase of attacking play before a scoring chance finally presented itself.

And the finish was spectacular as three minutes into added time, Japan's inspirational captain Michael Leitch set off on a powerful run, before slick passing saw Karne Hesketh touch down wide out to spark scenes of wild celebration and confirm the sport's greatest upset.

It is a try and a moment in sport that will be replayed again and again.

Press Association

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