Black & Green And Bruised All Over
Springboks & All Blacks Fans From Around the Globe Correctly Predict Tough & Close Battle
There was a steady stream of fans clad in black or green and gold and outside International Stadium Yokohama yesterday. Most were Kiwis or South Africans but plenty of Japanese turned up, the majority wearing in New Zealand colors.
One Japanese fan, Yoko Kakuta who had donned an All black jersey said, “My husband is a rugger-man. He played for NEC, the same team John Kirwan used to play for. That is why I like and support the All Blacks.”
Masaya Kimura, a young Japanese man with a Springbok jersey on said, “I play as a forward in high school and I think the South African forwards are strong, and tougher than the All Blacks. That is why I support the Springboks.”
Shane Catterick, originally from Auckland, New Zealand but now is based in Hawaii said before the clash, “This is the big one right off the bat, man. I think it will be close. It’s always close. One way or another these are the two teams that will come out of our division. We’ll see each other again, probably down the road, so it’s always nice to have the bragging rights.”
Two South African brothers Raymond and Izzy Swartz who had travelled over just for this match said, “This game is going to be tough. It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to boil down to small mistakes or a call from the referee.”
Another All Black supporter, Raymond Te Moananui, who is viewing the game with his family predicted, “It’ll be us by a couple. It’ll be a tight game though. I think it’s always tight between us. There’s nothing in it. It’ll be, probably be, a little bit of luck. One opportunity, one missed opportunity and that’ll be the game.
Those were prescient words as a few missed tackles early allowed New Zealand to jump out in a 17-3 lead that the Springboks were ultimately unable to reel in.
- Todd Phillips: Sept 21, 2019