South Africa crush Japan in final World Cup warm-up

SHOWS: KUMAGAYA, JAPAN (SEPTEMBER 6, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUTH AFRICA HEAD COACH, RASSIE ERASMUS, SAYING:

"Obviously, we played against a very strong Japanese team, which we wanted to play against before we play the All Blacks and we got exactly what we expected. I think the scoreboard is not a real reflection of the game. We've got a lot of tired bodies in there, a lot of tired players. That's what we wanted out of this test match. Luckily, we didn't get a lot of injuries and we think now this puts us on the right track before we play the All Blacks in two weeks' time. Because, Japan certainly pushed us hard right until the end."

2. NEWS CONFERENCE UNDERWAY

3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUTH AFRICA HEAD COACH, RASSIE ERASMUS, SAYING:

"When they ask us about (the loss in) 2015 (to Japan) I don't get upset about that. They are proud about 2015 and they should be proud of 2015. We desperately wanted to turn that around today. That is why we picked our best team. We wanted to win this match and we did win it. Now it is something of the past. We hope for them that they progress from their pool and hopefully we see them again in the playoffs if we progress, so life goes on."

4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JAPAN HEAD COACH, JAMIE JOSEPH, SAYING:

"There were two different types of game plans. South Africa refused to attack. They kicked the ball... the kick ruck ratio was one to two, which basically means for every time they ran the ball, they kicked the ball... So they used the defensive pressure and set piece pressure to try and slow us down and they did that very well."

5. JOSEPH LEAVING NEWS CONFERENCE

STORY: A hat-trick of tries from Makazole Mapimpi led South Africa to a comfortable 41-7 victory over Japan on Friday (September 6) in their final World Cup warm-up match, laying down a tournament marker and gaining revenge for defeat four years ago.

Japan's famous 34-32 victory at the 2015 World Cup had dominated the build-up to Friday's clash but the hosts were never in the contest as South Africa pounced on sloppy handling and play at the breakdown.

Ahead of the World Cup opener against old rivals New Zealand on September 21, Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus, who named a strong side, said he was pleased with the test provided by the Japanese.

After losing key winger Kenki Fukuoka to a calf injury early on, Japan's start got even worse when Cheslin Kolbe showed some quick feet to dart past Yu Tamura and open the scoring on seven minutes.

South Africa dominated the aerial battle throughout the game and it was after another poor Japanese clearance that allowed Mapimpi to stroll in for his first try on 22 minutes.

Japan came flying out in the second half, but a resilient Springbok defence held on and they eventually cleared their lines before Mapimpi scored his third on 53 minutes, burning the Japanese defence with his speed.

Japan must look for improvement in their World Cup opener against Russia on September 20 before South Africa begin their campaign against reigning champions New Zealand a day later.

(Production: Kurt Michael Hall)