THE Springboks will finally have their chance to avenge their last-minute 34 – 32 world cup defeat against Japan when the take on the host nation of the 2019 Rugby World Cup later today.
The South Africans insist that they put 2015’s Brighton Miracle behind them when they beat Japan 41-7 in a World Cup warm-up match in September.
The hosts have captured the imagination of the rugby world with their thrilling, quick-paced style of play, which was too much for Ireland and Scotland in the pool stages of this year’s tournament.
The Japanese shift the point of contact as much as possible to keep defences guessing, and Brave Blossoms will move the bigger Boks team around the field to tire them out.
The concern for Japan will be to raise themselves again physically and mentally after their last Pool A match against Scotland, which took place last Sunday night.
In contrast, the Springboks last played on 8 October, against Canada, and are well rested.
The first match of the day will be between Wales and France who have met only once previously at a World Cup.
Wales have been dominant in the recent Six Nations series against France in their last match earlier this year the Welsh came from being 16 – 0 down at half-time to triumph 24 – 19 in Paris.
The French were superb in the first half of their opening game at this year’s world cup but then had to resist an Argentina comeback. After beating USA quite comfortably, they had to survive another comeback against Tonga.
If the men in blue allow Wales to take control up front, even their backs will struggle to get them into another semi-final.
But the French at least had two weeks to work on their tactics since their match against England was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.
The Welsh will field the same XV that played against Australia.