WC tournament: Cougars beat Japan, advance to quarter-finals


It took quite a few weeks, but Argentina’s rugby team caught fire for the first time in this year’s World Cup on Sunday in the Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes.

The Cougars sealed their place in the quarter-finals when they beat Japan 39-27 after leading 15-14 at halftime.

The Cougars, who finished second in Group D behind England, face Wales on October 14 in Marseille, while Japan’s World Cup road has unfortunately come to a dead end.

The Cougars, who scored five tries, can beat Wales, although the Red Dragons finished unbeaten in Group C.

The Pumas’ big heroes were the two wings, Sebastian Carreras (he plays for the Newcastle Saints in the English Premier League) and Emiliano Bofelli (he plays for Edinburgh in Scotland).

Carreras scored a hat-trick of tries with his speed, while Bofelli scored 14 points, including a three that he scored.

It is one of the characteristics of a team that plays with confidence when it throws the ball around and its wings score threes.

Up front, the Pumas’ fiery lock Tomas Lavinini and the loose forwards Marcos Kremer, Pablo Matera and Juan Martin Gonzales ensured that the team remained on the front foot.

Yes, perhaps Japan’s pattern, which does not rely on physical forwards, suited the Cougars.

Perhaps the yellow card that Lappies Labuschagne received for a shoulder-to-the-head dive has drained the team.

But still it is a pity that Japan, known as the Brave Blossoms, is now returning home. They do not give up and once again made a big impression with their interplay and because they execute their movements at full speed.

The brilliant try that Amato Fakjatava scored in the end was testimony to this.

It is clear that the roles that coaches such as Johan Ackermann, Frans Ludeke, Robbie Deans and Allister Coetzee play in the Japanese top league trickle down to the national team.

Scorers: Argentina 39 (15): Tries: Santagio Chocobares, Mateo Carreras (3), Emiliano Bofelli. Goals: Emiliano Bofelli (3), Nicolas Sánchez. Penalty goals: Bofelli, Sanchez.

Japan 27 (14): Tries: Amato Fakjatava, Naoto Saito, Jone Naikabula. Goal kicks: Rikiya Matsuda (3). Penalty Goal: Matsuda. Creation purpose: Lomano Lemeki.