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Ireland and Japan go head to head this Saturday as they both target a spot in the knockout stages of the Rugby World Cup.
Japan will be looking to build upon their victory against Russia while Joe Schmidt’s men head into the encounter, to be held in Shizuoka, on the back of their storming win over Scotland.
Whereas Ireland radiated with confidence and composure in their opening match, it was a more cagey affair for the Brave Blossoms.
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Number eight Kazuki Himeno admitted his side were “spun” by the size of the occasion in the tournament opener, as they struggled to cope with the weight of expectation as the host nation.
“It wasn’t like a usual Test match there was a different atmosphere, the crowd noise was really loud and a few things spun us during the game,” said the 25-year-old Sunwolves back-rower. “But it’s important we get back to our basics, what we are good at.” Victory over Ireland will go someway to securing a first-ever spot in the World Cup knockout stages.
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