Springbok VS Blossoms: Being an Expat after an Historic ‘Rugby Football Game’

Today started like any other – I got up and went off to work, not thinking that something significant happened while I was asleep.

Now for those of you that know me, you will of course know that I have no real interest in sport. Sure, I’ll watch the occasional match of some sport or other, but I don’t really follow it. That is, until a world tournament rolls around.


Now there is no need to tell my South African followers (and maybe a few of my Japanese followers too), but the Springboks suffered an historical loss at the hands of the Japanese Brave Blossoms.

When I first heard the news, my jaw dropped. I could not believe it. How could the Springboks have lost?


Seeing as there is a huge time difference between Japan and England, I had not watched the match – instead, I choose to have an untroubled sleep. But now, in the early hours of the sunny Tokyo morning, my head swam with the hard-to-swallow news that South Africa had so narrowly lost for the first time in history to the Japanese Rugby team.

The Brave Blossoms (yes, that is their real name)

Needless to say, I was expecting to be shamed by plenty of Japanese people – however the response was about fifty-fifty. About half of the people had a good chuckle about Japan’s narrow victory over South Africa – while the other half never even knew what had happened! Let’s just say that rugby is not as popular in Japan…

Found outside a British Pub in Tokyo – an advert for the ‘rugby football game’

But strangely enough, I felt torn… On the one hand, I felt really disappointed about the Bok’s loss, but on the other, I felt strangely proud of my new home country (despite the fact that their team is called the ‘Brave Blossoms’). To me it felt like their was no loss last night, and now I can comfortably route for two teams as they face the rest of Pool B.


Even though this might be a tragic loss for SA, I think this Japanese victory is of vital importance for the next 2019 World Cup. This is because it will be held in Japan at that time and this historic win could boost the interest and popularity of rugby in Japan – thus potentially creating a more successful World Cup (yes, it might seem like a stretch, but you never know).

But for now, let’s focus on the current tournament and hope that both teams find success.


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