A Japan fan cheers during the RWC Pool A game at the International Stadium between Japan and Scotland. Photo: AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko
A Japan fan cheers during the RWC Pool A game at the International Stadium between Japan and Scotland. Photo: AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko
Irish fans reacts during their Rugby World Cup Pool A game lost 19-12 at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa against Japan. Photo: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
Irish fans reacts during their Rugby World Cup Pool A game lost 19-12 at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa against Japan. Photo: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

When Japan awoke yesterday, it was unclear whether this game would even take place.

Come kick-off, nearly 70,000 fans were in for the ride.

The home side’s pulsating victory was the perfect climax to all the uncertainty.

"Many people in Japan received the hazard (warnings during the typhoon) but they can see this game and the players can encourage the people," said one fan, Wataru Ota. "I hope every Japanese person sees this game and is united and motivated."

In contrast, this proved a dark night for Scotland. For fans such as John Reilly, however, even defeat was better than another day without rugby.

He came here for England’s cancelled clash with France and last night’s epic.

"I had kittens that it wasn’t going to take place," he said. "The Japanese have been absolutely fantastic - I’m so glad they’re playing tonight. I’d rather we lost and get beaten in a match than go out on bonus points."

Fans react as they wait for the start of the Rugby World Cup Pool A game at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa between Japan and Ireland. Photo: AP Photo/Jae Hong

Away from the bright lights, stadium staff worked doggedly to make this night so special.

The area surrounding the ground was spotless. There were also warnings that merchandise, food and drink stalls would be hampered by the storm but everyone made do. It was that kind of night.

Daily Mail