Success: Due to the high tournament viewing figures, the cost of broadcasting rights has soared Getty Images Rugby World Cup TV Coverage Fast becoming one of the most anticipated and watched sporting events in the world, the rights to televise the Rugby World Cup every four years have become sought after by most broadcasting companies. Considering the tournament was a huge success, the costs have soared. But who has secured the tournament rights?
The Cherry Blossoms, perfectly orchestrated by Eddie Jones, humbled the Springboks with a display of courage and skill that took the two-time champions by surprise.
Rugby World Cup All the Favorites Ranked and Format Explained Read more Frustratingly for them, however, Japan lost to Scotland in its second game and ultimately failed to qualify for the quarterfinals, finishing third in Pool B, two points behind the Scots.
Fast forward four years and the tables have turned. Japan topped Pool A with 19 points, beating Ireland and Scotland en route to its first-ever quarterfinal appearance at a Rugby World Cup.
Standing between the hosts and a historic first semifinal is the same team the Cherry Blossoms defeated in that epic encounter in England in Even taking into account their success four years ago, the prospect of Japan reaching the last four would have been dismissed at best as sheer fantasy before the tournament began.
After all, the win over the Springboks in hadn't quite acted as the springboard some expected it would prove to be. By Sunday night, however, it may no longer even be Japan's most famous triumph over South Africa. Only Wales has amassed as many points as Japan so far—admittedly England, New Zealand and France could have matched the total had their last pool games not been canceled because of Typhoon Hagibis —and as Ireland and Scotland have found out, Japan has all it takes to upset more established rugby nations.
Brilliantly led by captain Michael Leitch, the hosts combine skillful offloads with high-pace rugby and a penchant for the risk that has swiftly earned them a spot in neutrals' hearts. They are different to other teams in that they work as a group when they attack, coming at you in twos and threes.
We will keep tackling and come at them every time. Where Japan takes on its opponents with a rapier, the two-time champions are closer to a giant club smashing everything in its path.
It would be reductive, however, to dismiss the Springboks as a team totally lacking in finesse. In Cheslin Kolbe South Africa has one of the world's most dazzling winger, but the team's favorite currency remains destructive power at the set pieces and in the ruck.