Madness.
Madness.

World stunned by Japan’s miracle madness

Japan has produced another Rugby World Cup shocker to beat an Ireland team that was ranked No. 1 coming into the tournament.

Japan beat South Africa in the 2015 World Cup in what was considered the biggest upset in the tournament's history.

The shock win over Ireland rivals the famous "miracle of Brighton" defeat of South Africa - but the wild victory scenes after the match have surpassed the iconic 2015 win.

The 19-12 win over Ireland on Saturday is another massive result, particularly for the first Rugby World Cup held in Asia.

Japan leads Pool A with wins over Russia and Ireland. The Irish had opened with an emphatic 27-3 win over Scotland and had been a heavy favourite to win. Japan captain Lappies Labuschagne said it was "difficult to put into words" what the victory meant.

Reflecting on the shock result against South Africa four years ago, he said after the game on ITV Sport: "That was a great game, but we came into this tournament knowing what we wanted to do.

 

Japan team wave to their supporters after defeating Ireland 19-12.
Japan team wave to their supporters after defeating Ireland 19-12.

"Thanks to each and every one of you for coming out to support us." Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt admitted Japan had raised their game to "furious" levels.

He said on ITV Sport: "We felt we played well in the first quarter, then stopped playing to a degree.

"It was pretty difficult, we fell the wrong side on the penalty count and they could have gone either way with the offsides.

"That gave them the front foot, they didn't come off the button. "What a furious, intense effort it was. We knew potentially it was coming. "We are disappointed we didn't manage to control the end of the game. Congratulations to them." Former Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll, a pundit on ITV's coverage, said: "The mood of the whole country has shifted in 80 minutes.

Ireland's Keith Earls reacts following his teams 19-12 loss in the Rugby World Cup.
Ireland's Keith Earls reacts following his teams 19-12 loss in the Rugby World Cup.

 

"I for one didn't see that happening. I knew it would a tough game, they are the host nation, they have nothing to lose, but huge credit to Japan, they played terrific rugby but Ireland looked very blunt, they looked devoid of ideas, devoid of energy actually.

"I wonder if the humidity took effect because it wasn't the Ireland we have come to expect.

"It's very disappointing, it's not the end of the tournament, they can still top the pool but gosh they have so much to work on to even think about getting beyond the quarter-finals at this stage."

Here's how the world reacted to the upset.