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Legacies of Brave Blossoms’ run should inspire, be passed down

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In the Rugby World Cup now being hosted by Japan, the nation’s squad won all four of its pool stage matches to secure the top spot in Pool A and advance to the knockout stage for the first time.

The achievement marked a spectacular and historic run for the Brave Blossoms in the sport’s marquee tournament.

The Japanese side failed to reach the semifinals as it was beaten by South Africa, a two-time World Cup winner, in the quarterfinals on Oct. 20.

Still, the Brave Blossoms’ unexpectedly brilliant performance captured the hearts of Japanese, including many who were not much interested in the event before it began.

Beating an opponent assumed to be stronger in an upset is one of the most inspiring moments in sports. But it is often said that an upset is a rarity in the world of rugby.

Rugby is a sport in which 15 players work as a powerful, well-oiled machine to carry the ball forward while battling hard with the opponents hell-bent on thwarting their efforts.

A rugby squad is usually a unit composed of widely different types of players, from beefy, towering giants who stand more than 2 meters tall to small, agile dynamos less than 1.7 meters in height.

Each player has a clearly defined role to perform and unique........

© The Asahi Shimbun