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HomeSports NewsOn this day: Brave Blossoms shock Boks

On this day: Brave Blossoms shock Boks

On 19 September 2015, Japan produced the biggest Rugby World Cup upset in history when they beat the Springboks in England.

The Boks were expected to kick off their 2015 World Cup campaign with a convincing win against the 13th-ranked Japanese in Brighton.

Yet, four minutes into stoppage time, the South Africans found themselves down to 14 men, leading by just three points and desperately defending their tryline.

The Brave Blossoms, who had turned down a penalty shot at goal just before full time that could have earned them a draw, attacked from a 5m scrum and seven phases later, the ball came back to Amanaki Mafi in midfield.

The replacement No 8 handed off Bok centre Jesse Kriel and put substitute wing Karne Hesketh away into the left-hand corner. As Japan celebrated a 34-32 win, which has since been dubbed ‘The Brighton Miracle’, the ashen-faced Boks stood stunned.

Photo: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

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