Japan vs South Africa Live : But for all the attacking potency provided by Kolbe, it’s up front where South Africa will look to crush the life out of Japan.
The hosts will have to be at their top of their game just to achieve parity in the line-out and scrum, and the Springboks will launch their massive ball-carriers at the heart of the Japanese to suck in defenders before creating the space for Kolbe out wide.
Also expect the South Africans to put boot to ball a lot; the Japanese wingers are electric but what are they like fielding a high ball with several South Africans steaming after them?
Pace versus power
The intentions of South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus are evident in the fact he’s named six forwards on the bench, including two second-rows.
“If you’ve watched the way we’ve played through the World Cup, you will see the way we are going to play,” said South Africa assistant coach Matthew Proudfoot.
Asked if it’s going to be a one-dimensional approach, Proudfoot promised an “exciting Test match”, which if you’re a South African probably means suffocating the Japanese at the set-piece.
All fired up
Japan’s only change to the team that beat Scotland last weekend is the return at full-back of Ryohei Yamanaka in place of William Tupou.
“We’ve achieved the last eight but what we do from here is also important,” said No.8 Kazuki Himeno. He added that the Brave Blossoms are “all fired up for the South Africa game”.
“Japan stunned, literally shocked, South Africa 34-32 in the 2015 World Cup, and they’ll be looking to do more of the same this time around. The hosts have already topped pool A against the odds after upsetting Ireland 19-12 earlier in the tournament. If anyone doubted the ability of this Japan side, their commanding performance against Scotland was enough to make people take notice. South Africa are the better side and should run out comfortable winners and will arrive as favourites – but maybe that’s where Japan are at their most dangerous.”
This will be Japan’s first Rugby World Cup quarter-final, so you have to back South Africa with all their big-game experience. Japan should be kept in it for a long way by their strong home support, but I would expect the Springboks to ease out to a ten-point win by full-time.”