Four years after beating South Africa, Japan shock Ireland: biggest Rugby World Cup upsets
A look back on underdog victories from previous Rugby World Cups
Hosts Japan pulled off a huge upset on Saturday to defeat Ireland 19-12 at the Rugby World Cup 2019.
Japan, of course, are no strangers when it comes to giving the established sides a bloody nose. Four years after beating South Africa in the Miracle of Brighton they pulled off a Shock in Shizuoka as wing Kenki Fukuoka crossed for a second-half try while Yu Tamura contributed 11 points with the boot.
It ranks alongside some of the greatest underdog victories in Rugby World Cup history.
Here are some others:
Fiji 27-30 Uruguay, 2019
Uruguay registered the first score for the underdog of this Rugby World Cup when they beat a Fiji side nine places above them in the World Rugby rankings with a 30-27 win at the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium.
Japan 34-32 South Africa, 2015
Surely rugby’s most spectacular shock. So much so, a movie has already been made about it, starring Temuera Morrison in the role of Japan’s coaching mastermind Eddie Jones.
Fiji 38-34 Wales, 2007
This could have a case for being the best of all World Cup matches, and not just because the less-fancied side ended as winners. A nine-try classic in Nantes.
Western Samoa 16-13 Wales, 1991
A pool-stage upset in the second World Cup which prompted one of the most oft-quoted jokes attributed to Welsh fans: “Thank goodness we weren’t playing the whole of Samoa.”
Updated: September 28, 2019 01:48 PM