Rugby's biggest shocks! 10 utterly incredible upsets from rugby history including Japan vs. South Africa

Rugby’s biggest shocks! 10 utterly incredible upsets from rugby history

4) Ireland 15 Australia 6, 2011 World Cup (group stage)

Ireland, who have never surpassed the quarter-finals at a Rugby World Cup, did have a moment of salvation four years ago when they upset the odds to stun Australia. The win in the pivotal group stage match ensured the Irish finished top of the pool. Johnny Sexton kicked two penalties and a drop goal while Ronan O’Gara completed the scoring with six points in Ireland’s finest World Cup display to date.


 3) Samoa 31 Wales 28, 1999 World Cup (group stage)

After the 1991 World Cup defeat against Western Samoa, there had been a widespread joke amongst Welsh fans saying: ‘Thank God we weren’t playing all of Samoa’. However, in 1999, Wales, who were the tournament hosts, were again drawn alongside the Islanders in the pool stage. The Welsh went into the game and asserted control early on as they were awarded two penalty tries. However, Samoa battled back with Silao Leaega touching down the decisive score in what was Wales’s first defeat at their new home, the Millennium Stadium.


2) France 30 Australia 24. 1987 World Cup (semi-final)

Pundits had predicted the final of the inaugural World Cup would come down to Australia and New Zealand, who were thought of as the two best teams in world rugby at that time. Therefore, nobody had given France a chance when they came up against the Wallabies in the semi-final, but in the end, after a close-fought contest it came down to a moment of brilliance from French fullback Serge Blanco. Despite a leg injury, he managed to outpace the Wallabies chasing him before touching down right in the corner.


1) South Africa 32 Japan 34, 2015 (Pool stage) 
Japan stunned South Africa to record the biggest upset in Rugby World Cup history in Brighton this past weekend. The Cherry Blossoms, who had the opportunity to draw the game from the tee, bravely went in search of the winning try and got it through Karne Hesketh. Eddie Jones team performed exceptionally from start to finish and were well worth their win.

 

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