Japan produced another momentous Rugby World Cup upset as they stunned Ireland 19-12 in Shizuoka  Four years after their historic upset of South Africa in Brighton, the Brave Blossoms secured their first ever win over Ireland and threw Pool A wide open  Ireland were expected to comfortably dispose of the improving hosts after an impressive display to beat Scotland in their opener  Japan laboured before overcoming Russia in the opening game of the tournament but stepped up a gear on a dramatic evening in hot and humid conditions  Wonderful handling set free Kenki Fukuaka for the decisive try after an hour, before a late Yu Tamura penalty gave them vital breathing space with eight minutes remaining as they held on for a historic triumph    Ireland got off to a strong start as Gary Ringrose and Rob Kearney went over for early tries  But the Japanese grew into the game and their speed off the line defensively prevented their opponents from pulling away  Having gradually worn down Joe Schmidt’s side, Fukuoka crossed in the corner after fast hands to find space out wide    A superb conversion from Tamura right on the touchline put them 16-12 up with 20 minutes remaining before his boot made it 19-12 with less than ten minutes remaining  Ireland pressed and one last defensive stand was needed by the hosts, but they stood strong and a late interception ensured they instead ended the game pressing for a further score and away from danger  “We knew how tough it was going to be,” said Ireland captain Rory Best. “Anyone that considers that a shock hasn’t seen how good they are  “We came in with a game plan and thought we were really prepared, but give credit to them, they played really well  “We made a few mistakes, a few unforced errors and were the wrong side of the penalty count But I think Japan played really, really well. They posed a lot of questions to us and unfortunately couldn’t come up with the right answers ”  Ireland are still likely to progress from Pool A, provided they can see off Russia on Thursday and Samoa next Saturday    However, Scotland are now facing a huge battle to join them in the knockout stages  Samoa beat Russia comfortably in their first outing and will take on Scotland on Monday  The Scots must then take on hosts Japan in what could be a decisive game in the race to progress on Thursday, October 10  Japan’s destiny in their home World Cup is now in their own hands with Samoa and Scotland left to play as they aim to reach the knockout stages for the first time

Japan beat Ireland for first time in stunning Rugby World Cup 2019 upset
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