KUMAGAYA – South Africa have been constantly reminded of their famous loss to Japan at the 2015 World Cup since arriving in the Asian nation, and coach Rassie Erasmus was relieved his side went some way to avenge that defeat on Friday.
In Brighton four years ago, Japan, under coach Eddie Jones, secured a last-gasp 34-32 victory and cemented the result in World Cup history.
Karne Hesketh's late try is played on repeat in promotional videos for the upcoming tournament, the result has been brought up by an eager Japanese media all week and there is even a movie about the match being released, entitled the 'Brighton Miracle'.
The South Africans have smiled their way through all the questions in the build up to Friday's clash with Japan but following their resounding 41-7 victory, Erasmus said a weight had been lifted.
"We were under pressure in this game from the beginning because we had that tag around our neck from when we lost to them way back in 2015," said a smiling Erasmus.