Home Rugby Twitter Reacts As Japan Hold France To A Draw In Paris

Twitter Reacts As Japan Hold France To A Draw In Paris

NANTERRE, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 25: Shota Horie of Japan scores their first try during the international rugby union match between France and Japan at U Arena on November 25, 2017 in Nanterre, France. (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

Japan scored one of the most famous upsets in rugby history in 2015, as they pipped South Africa by two points at the death of an enthralling group-stage game at the World Cup. On Saturday night, the rugby minnows almost pulled off another shock win against France at the U Arena in Paris.

The sides scored a penalty a piece before Shota Horie crossed the line for the game’s first try and gave Japan an 8-3 lead 22 minutes in. Yu Tamaru failed to build on that lead, however, missing the subsequent conversion.

France hit the front before the break, as a Francois Trinh-Duc penalty was followed by a Rabah Slimai try in the 40th minute. Trinh-Duc knocked over the conversion to put France ahead 13-8.

The resilient Japanese reclaimed the lead just minutes into the second half, with Timothy Lafaele crossing the whitewash and Tamaru converting. The seesawing continued, however, as France went back ahead just five later, thanks to a try from Gabriel Lacroix. Trinh-Duc, who had set up Lacroix’s score with a wonderful cross-field kick, duly converted the follow-up to give France a five-point cushion.

A Tamaru kick on 63 reduced the margin to two again but the French responded with a Trinh-Duc penalty five minutes later to restore their lead to five.

With 74 minutes gone, however, Japan dramatically equalized through a nicely worked try that was finished by Shintaro Ishihara.  For the second time in the game though, Yu Tamaru missed the conversion. A mistake-laden few minutes followed, but neither team was able to capitalize on the ensuing panic and the game finished 23-23.

While the Japanese underdog story is a powerful one, the tale of France’s poor autumn campaign is also worth telling and some feel that it should end with the sacking of coach Guy Noves. Under Noves, Les Bleus lost twice to the All Blacks and to a wounded South Africa before floundering against Japan on home turf.

Here is how Twitter reacted to the game and it’s result…

 

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