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How Japan Brought Out Everything Good About Human Nature

By Mark Farrelly
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'Amazing! Can't believe it!'

'I feel faint'

'Not sure there has ever been a better result in sports history'


'Sweet Jesus, I'm nearly shedding a tear over this.'

'A reminder of why sport remains the greatest unscripted drama in life.'

Japan's victory over South Africa was arguably the greatest moment in the history of sports neutrality. It was one of those perfect moments, completely void of begrudgery and cynicism. Even if Ireland go on to win the World Cup you're nearly guaranteed to have at least one dissenting prick making a comment about how we only beat three decent sides or that we didn't offload enough in the process of winning it.


However, last night was just pure glee.

It's amazing how that connection is so easily sparked. This was more than just an 'ah sure it was good to see someone else win it' type of reaction. The last few minutes brought with it a wonderful hysteria for those watching. Japan's efforts and particularly their balls in going for the scrum at the end, reached down past the intellectual level and grabbed at  a deeper empathy. For those last few minutes our hearts bled Japan and in the aftermath, the shots of joy on the faces of their players and fans proved perfect food for the soul.

So before we get back to bickering about nonsense and watching Diego Costa next act of sports terrorism, maybe we should take a moment to sit back and just enjoy Japan's story once more.

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