South Africa beat Japan 41-7 in a warmup match ahead of the start of the 2019 Rugby World Cup at the Kumagaya Rugby Stadium in Kumagaya, Saitama, on Friday.
The match was an intriguing one given the result between the two teams at the last Rugby World Cup in 2015 when Japan stunned the two-time champions 34-32 in their Pool B match.
South Africa ran in six tries with Makazole Mapimpi scoring a hat-trick, Cheslin Kolbe grabbing a brace and Herschel Jantjies adding one. Handré Pollard successfully kicked two conversions and a penalty while Frans Steyn also succeeded with two conversions.
Japan’s only try came from Kotaro Matsushima with Yu Tamura adding a conversion.
Kolbe opened the scoring dotting down in the eighth minute dotting down following a strong buildup from Lukhanyo Am and Willie Le Roux. Pollard successfully kicked the conversion.
Le Roux was involved again gathering a ball inside Japan’s half and offloading to Mapimpito cross the whitewash in the 22ndminute.
A long pass from Pollard got to Le Roux who again found Mapimpi who crossed the whitewash for his brace.
A penalty from Pollard in the 39thminute gave the Springboks a 22-0 lead going into the break.
Twelve minutes into the second half saw Mapimpi complete his hat-trick after collecting a pass from Pieter-Steph du Toit.
The home side finally got on the board in the 60thminute when the Japanese backs took advantage of a knock-on from Am allowing Matsushimato go over for their lone try.
Further tries from Jantjies and Kolbe saw the Rugby Championship winners complete an emphatic win and somewhat avenge their loss four years ago.
Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus downplayed his side’s huge win noting Japan was a dangerous team that really challenged them.
“And I don’t get upset if they ask us about 2015; Japan should be proud of that result but it’s why we wanted to win this match and now hopefully we see them in the playoffs if we progress,” Erasmus said.