One of the biggest upsets in World Rugby and an awesome match into the bargin. Japan vs South Africa brought the world scream-out-loud, gob-smacking, fist-pumping joy (unless, of course, you are Meyer and his Springboks) and showed us what passion, intense focus and a fast ball can really do to the giants of world rugby.
I am so proud to be able to say that I have been involved with the Brave Blossoms as they prepared for their big match on Saturday. I was working with a small team of local therapists and the team’s Physios providing post training recovery massage and treating them again on Sunday after the match.
The set up at their Brighton base was very impressive. They were very professional and focused, as you would anticipate with a really great camaraderie and spirit in the team. They are calm and humble too with the quiet, business like confidence of a team that knows how hard it has worked to get to this moment. Although, it is fair to say there were a few minor nerves were creeping in when we saw them on Thursday night.
I was also deeply impressed with their Physio team and watching them work was a real treat. They keep these players so supple and mobile, crucial for the fast pace of the Japanese game. This was brought home to me when I watched the match on Saturday from the stands. Seeing one of the props doing the splits in his warm up is not something you expect in rugby.
But then again, they delivered so much more than anyone expected.