Springboks end Japan's dream World Cup run with quarter-final win

Relive 1 NEWS Now's live coverage of this Rugby World Cup quarter-final between hosts Japan and South Africa from Tokyo.

South Africa's Damian de Allende is tackled by Japan's Ryoto Nakamura during the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal match. Source: Associated Press

Click here for the match report.

1:18am: FULLTIME - Japan 3 SA 26

The siren goes. South Africa want to run the ball one last time. Snyman is clobbered in a tackle before Pollard kicks out into touch.

That's that. Japan's historic run is over, South Africa advance to the semi-finals.

The hosts can exit with their heads held high, doing what no Asian team has ever done. Meanwhile the Springboks will face Wales in the next round, looking to win back the Webb Ellis Cup.

1:14am: 78 mins - Japan 3 SA 26

South Africa blow a golden chance to score again, as Pollard kicks wide to le Roux. The fullback pops a pass back inside to Kolisi, but the skipper can't hang on. Japan will have a scrum.

1:13am: 76 mins - Japan 3 SA 26

Japan scrum and Mafi runs from the back, before South Africa turn it over. Japan are completely out of steam. Replacement halfback Jantjies puts up a box kick, before Japan give away a penalty, Mafi incorrectly entering the ruck.

Pollard's kick goes into touch, they'll have a lineout to restart.

1:06am: 72 mins - Japan 3 SA 26

TRY!!! Japan with a lineout right on the South African line. The Boks win the ball against the throw, de Klerk's box kick isn't out as Fukuoka starts the attack.

The ball is stripped though and Pollard can counter! He finds le Roux, who goes wide to Mapimpi and South Africa score in the corner!

Pollard with yet another kick. this one again from the left, and same result as his first kick.

1:00am: 67 mins - Japan 3 SA 21

TRY!!! South Africa lineout and they drive from the back. Japan are exhausted. Marx with the ball at the back of the maul.

Marx breaks, and draws the last man in before slipping the pass away to de Klerk who scores! 

Pollard with the kick, and he's got it. Is that goodnight for Japan?

12:55am: 64 mins - Japan 3 SA 14

Penalty! Japan scrum now. They look to use the ball before Fukuoka is smashed by le Roux! Japan put the bomb up, le Roux takes. De Klerk has a run before winning South Africa the advantage. 

South Africa want the points (shock). Pollard lines up the kick, this one right in front, and it just creeps inside the right post.

12:49am: 58 mins - Japan 3 SA 11

South Africa scrum, and they win the penalty. Koch and Kitsoff on as subs do brilliantly as the new front rowers. Do South Africa take the points? Yes.

Pollard with the shot, but he misses to the left!

12:44am: 54 mins - Japan 3 SA 11

South Africa's forwards look to make some ground as de Jager has a crack. De Klerk kicks, Matsushima claims it under pressure, and is taken in the air by Mapimpi to win a penalty.

Matsuda finds touch.

12:41am: 52 mins - Japan 3 SA 11

Knock on from Kolbe after a dreadful de Klerk box kick. Japan want to run but de Allende and Kolisi turn the ball over!

Pollard goes to the air, Leitch claims ahead of du Toit. Kolbe tries to dance through the Japanese line before being tackled. Am kicks over the top for Matsushima to take, and the winger is tackled into touch.

South Africa are here to play in the second half!

12:38am: 49 mins - Japan 3 SA 11

Penalty! Huge call from Jamie Joseph, Tamura off and Matsuda on. 

Japan scrum, Nagare feeds, but South Africa win the penalty! South Africa want the points, Pollard lines up the kick - and gets it.

12:36am: 48 mins - Japan 3 SA 8

South Africa win a penalty from a maul to start the half. They'll have a scrum.

Advantage Japan as du Toit knocks on. Tamura goes to the air looking for Leitch but Mapimpi takes it easily. 

Box kick from de Klerk is taken by Yamanaka, and Japan want to run from inside their own 22. Turnover from de Allende, and the ball goes wide to le Roux!

The fullback finds du Toit unmarked, but the pass is called forward! How big could that be?

12:33am: 44 mins - Japan 3 SA 8

Penalty! Kolisi says he wants the points from the penalty. Pollard lines up his second kick of the night, and this time he gets it perfect.

12:32am: 43 mins - Japan 3 SA 5

They win a penalty as Pollard goes wide to Kolbe. De Klerk goes to the air for Mapimpi, but he can't get the ball up against Matsushima. 

We'll go back for a South African penalty from the scrum.

12:30am: 41 mins - Japan 3 SA 5

Tamura kicks off to start the second half. Huge 40 minutes on the cards here.


Japan first out after the break, South Africa take their time. Big rev up at halftime from Rassie Erasmus!

12:14am: HALFTIME - Japan 3 SA 5

Less than a minute until the break. South Africa with a lineout, Marx to throw his first of the night.

Etzebeth takes at the front, penalty advantage to South Africa, but Japan's rush defence is perfect! We go back for the penalty, they want one last lineout as Pollard kicks to the corner.

Marx throws again, du Toit wins it. South Africa drive, de Klerk waits at the back. They go to de Allende, who runs at the line, and is taken, before getting to his feet and running in to score! Hang on though, Wayne Barnes calls double movement.

Japan kick into touch to bring the half to an end.

12:10am: 39 mins - Japan 3 SA 5

South Africa go for the lineout drive, Malcolm Marx has just come on and makes an instant impact.

The Boks go to the backs, before le Roux spills the ball with acres of space in front of him.

12:08am: 37 mins - Japan 3 SA 5

Another Japan lineout, Horie throws. Moore takes the first tackle and brings the ball up to halfway. The ball goes back to Tamura who puts a bomb up and Kolbe grabs it. De Klerk returns serve, only for Yamanaka's kick to find touch.

Neither side wants to make a mistake before halftime.

12:06am: 36 mins - Japan 3 SA 5

South Africa with numbers out wide as Am finds Mapimpi, but he can't hang on, and kicks the dropped ball into touch.

Another lineout for Japan. Horie throws but SA win it again! Great position for the Springboks now, but du Toit loses it now!

Japan scrum.

12:03am: 34 mins - Japan 3 SA 5

Japan lineout. Horie throws, but South Africa take it - before giving away a penalty1 Etzebeth called for pulling down in the lineout!

Tamura will kick for touch and a Japan lineout. Horie throws, Leitch wins it. Japan again kick to the wing, where le Roux knocks it into touch against Yamanaka.

This game is exhausting!

12:00am: 32 mins - Japan 3 SA 5

SA scrum, de Klerk feeds but the front rows collapse. Reset. De Klerk feeds again and they go left. Mapimpi tries to dance through again but is taken.

Le Roux nearly hits a gap before Leitch makes the tackle. South Africa slowing it right down, before de Klerk's box kick dribbles into touch.

11:56pm: 29 mins - Japan 3 SA 5

Again Japan want to run the ball. Leitch tips on to Fukuoka out wide, but Kolisi intercepts, before giving possession right back!

Tamura has a run, but he can't hang on either. South Africa scrum.

11:54pm: 27 mins - Japan 3 SA 5

Nagare goes wide to Matsushima from the back of the scrum, but Japan lose it forward again. The ball goes back to Pollard, and is belted into touch. 

Japan with all of the momentum right now, and they'll have a lineout.

11:53pm: 26 mins - Japan 3 SA 5

Japan scrum. Nagare feeds, the front rows collapse and Japan have a free kick. They go wide to Matsushima, before switching to the other wing. Leitch has a run, before Labuschagne has another.

Advantage Japan with de Klerk offside, and Wayne Barnes blows his whistle! Tamura drills the ball into the corner, Japan have a lineout in their best position of the night!

The throw is good, and Japan want to run, but Am is there to intercept! He can't hang on though, South Africa get out of danger - for now.

11:49pm: 23 mins - Japan 3 SA 5

Pollard goes to the air and Fukuoka is fearless in his quest for the ball. Lafaele has a run, but Kolisi snuffs the danger and drives him back!

Tamura tries to clear, but goes into touch on the full. Labuschagne comes back onto the field, he's passed his HIA. South Africa also back to 15.

Mbonambi throws in the lineout, again the Boks drive. Huge pressure from the Japan defence, as de Allende has a run - but loses the ball!

Japan scrum.

11:45pm: 20 mins - Japan 3 SA 5

Penalty! SA scrum again, de Klerk feeds. HUGE shove from Japan and they win the penalty! What do they do here? They want the points. 

Tamura lines up his first shot of the night, and he doesn't miss! Japan on the board!

11:42pm: 18 mins - Japan 0 SA 5

South Africa lineout, and they drive. De Klerk goes to the air, Matsushima beats Mapimpi in the air and again, Japan go wide. 

Leitch has a dart down the right, before Japan are forced back inside. Lafaele is tackled, but Japan recycle well, but Yamanaka throws a forward pass!

11:39pm: 16 mins - Japan 0 SA 5

Japan scrum, Nagare feeds. Japan turn on the style with a classic Jamie Joseph backline move! They go wide to Fukuoka who beats his man and Japan break down the left! Yamanaka goes for an inside run but Vermulen takes him! 

Japan with their best chance of the night here - but de Allende turns it over! Brilliant defence from South Africa, but promising signs for the hosts!

11:35pm: 13 mins - Japan 0 SA 5

The lineout throw goes wayward, but South Africa knock it on. Japan look to go wide, before de Allende's attempted intercept is knocked on. Japan scrum, with a man advantage, as Kolisi makes way for the extra front rower. Japan make a change too, Labuschagne goes for a concussion test.

Nagare feeds the scrum, and Japan want to run from the back, but de Klerk is there to steal possession! Box kick from de Klerk, Matsushima does well to take it.

Himeno draws in two defenders in the tackle, before Tamura goes to the air! Nasty collision between Leitch and le Roux and the SA fullback stays down again!

11:30pm: 11 mins - Japan 0 SA 5

Yellow card! SA scrum, de Klerk feeds. The ball comes off the back and Pollard goes to the air looking for Kolbe, Yamanaka gets there first.

Japan look to use the ball, before Mtawarira lifts Inagaki in the tackle! Wayne Barnes doesn't even go to the TMO, just dishing out a straight yellow.

South Africa down to 14.

11:28pm: 10 mins - Japan 0 SA 5

South Africa win the lineout and go for the drive. They go wide to Mapimpi again, before Etzebeth straightens the attack. 

The big lock loses the ball and Japan can counter! Lafaele stabs a kick through with no one at the back and Fukuoka can't hang on! Springboks scrum.

Elsewhere, le Roux is staying down after taking a knock to the head from his own teammate!

11:24pm: 7 mins - Japan 0 SA 5

Japan try to run the ball as Tamura is smashed in a tackle. The ball goes back to Yamanaka, who puts the bomb up. No one claims it and Thompson takes it on the bounce! 

South Africa win it back, going to le Roux, who kicks into touch. Japan lineout.

11:22pm: 6 mins - Japan 0 SA 5

TRY!!! Tamura throws a forward pass and we'll have the first scrum of the night, South African feed. Ball goes in from de Klerk, and goes blind to Mapimpi!

The winger beats his man, and then another to score in the corner! Wow! Clever from South Africa to attack Tamura's side - which they did to great effect.

Pollard with his first kick of the night, but he misses to the right of the posts.

11:19pm: 3 mins - Japan 0 SA 0

Japan try something straight away! A kick out to the right wing sees Matsushima clash with Mapimpi in the air, before Japan regather.

They kick into touch for a South Africa lineout. Mbonambi throws, and South Africa win it, de Klerk goes for the box kick. Matsushima takes the ball, but loses it.

11:17pm: KICKOFF - Japan 0 SA 0

Springboks to kickoff. Pollard sends the ball high into the Tokyo side and we're underway in the last quarter-final!


Anthems done. Kickoff just moments away!


Anthems. Japan first, South Africa second.

Huge pockets of Springboks fans make themselves heard, it might not all go Japan's way tonight.


Again, we have a moment of silence for those to have lost their lives in Typhoon Hagibis.


Michael Leitch and Siya Kolisi lead their sides out of the tunnel, and Tokyo Stadium erupts in cheers. Regardless of what happens tonight, this World Cup has changed rugby in Japan.


Good evening! Tokyo was treated to a classic last night between the All Blacks and Ireland - can the hosts deliver again tonight?

Both sides back in the sheds with their final preparation before we begin. Kickoff around 15 minutes away!


Four years on from making history with the 2015 'miracle of Brighton', Japan and the Springboks will do battle once again, this time with a spot in the World Cup semi-final up for grabs.

The hosts have by far been the best side to watch at this year's tournament for a number of reasons, already having defeated Ireland and Scotland, and finishing pool play unbeaten.

South Africa meanwhile, have endured a mixed tournament, looking impressive after losing their opening match against the All Blacks in Yokohama.


Japan: 15. Ryohei Yamanaka, 14. Kotaro Matsushima, 13. Timothy Lafaele, 12. Ryoto Nakamura, 11. Kenki Fukuoka, 10. Yu Tamura, 9. Yutaka Nagare, 8. Kazuki Himeno, 7. Pieter Labuschagne, 6. Michael Leitch (c), 5. James Moore, 4. Luke Thompson, 3. Koo Ji-won, 2. Shota Horie, 1. Keita Inagaki.

Replacements: 16. Atsushi Sakate, 17. Isileli Nakajima, 18. Asaeli Ai Valu, 19. Wimpie van der Walt, 20. Amanaki Lelei Mafi, 21. Fumiaki Tanaka, 22. Rikiya Matsuda, 23. Lomano Lava Lemeki.

South Africa: 15. Willie le Roux, 14. Cheslin Kolbe, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Makazole Mapimpi, 10. Handré Pollard, 9. Francois de Klerk, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6. Siya Kolisi (c), 5. Lodewyk de Jager, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1. Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Steven Kitshoff, 18. Vincent Koch, 19. Rudolph Snyman, 20. Franco Mostert, 21. Francois Louw, 22. Herschel Jantjies, 23. Frans Steyn.