(Photo Credit: Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
The Springboks qualifies for the first semi-final next weekend Sunday against Wales at the International Stadium Yokohoma at 11:00 South African time. If one must be brutally honest after the display in the quareter-finals neither Wales nor South Africa could remotely stand a chance to beat either England or the All Black in the final.
South Africa scored the game’s first try after only four minutes after winger Makazole Mapimpi brushed aside a weak challenge by Japan fly-half Yu Tamura to go over in the corner, and there were fears the Springboks would simply overpower the host nation.
The yellow card against the Beast and nursery school errors in attack as well as on defence allowed Japan to stay in touch. Although Japan had only Tamura’s penalty to show for their dominance, they were arguably the better side for much of the opening 40 minutes.
South Africa turned on the power after the interval and the hosts simply could not live with them.
Scrum-half Faf de Klerk scored after a brilliant driving maul from his forwards before Makazole Mapimpi added a second try to go with his first-half score.
Handre Pollard kicked 11 points to help the Springboks to a comfortable victory and they now go on to meet Wales in the last four.
As for Japan, they bow out with their heads held high. They have hosted a brilliant tournament, and also provided some of its most thrilling moments.
Springboks: Tries: Mapimpi (2), de Klerk. Conversion: Pollard. Penalties: Pollard (3)
Japan: Penalty: Tamura.