The Greatest Stage: Week Three Round-Up

Japan and Argentina feature as Land Rover celebrates the core rugby values on display during the third week of Rugby World Cup 2015

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Week Three of Rugby World Cup 2015 saw the hosts depart as the smaller nations continued to punch well above their respective weights, displaying the dedication and positive attitude that underpins the #WeDealInReal spirit.

Performances of the week

Another week, another incredibly passionate performance by Japan. Despite going into this tournament as the Rugby World Cup’s least successful team, they just never gave up, and were again rewarded with a superb result, accompanied by Akihito Yamada’s stunning pirouette try. In the words of coach Eddie Jones: 

If you look at the history of Japanese rugby, we have won one World Cup game in 24 years. We have just doubled that. We have changed the history of rugby in Japan.

As far as underdogs go, Georgia deserve a mention for their valiant display against the world’s best team. For the Eastern Europeans, merely playing against the defending champions New Zealand is a dream come true. And yet, after six minutes, fullback Beka Tsiklauri exploited a hole in the All Blacks defence, kicking a loose ball into space and sprinting clear for a try that left the sides tied at 7-7 and had the Millenium Stadium crowd on its feet. Tsiklauri only started playing rugby aged 16, and it seems his family have psychic powers:

My family and friends were all telling me that I would score a try against New Zealand… I don't know how they knew. When I was almost over the line I put my hand in the air and was smiling because I was remembering how they told me that I was going to score a try, and I was thinking of them.

Namibia took on the pace and power of Tonga, putting in another huge team performance, making 111 tackles as they fought bravely to the end. Captain Jacques Burger led from the front with two tries, 13 tackles and a turnover.

If nothing else, at least winger Jacob Tromp will return to work in the outdoor cycling shop as a Rugby World Cup try scorer. He can cherish that story for years.

Words: James Foot