New Zealand 145 Japan 17 1995

The Japan National Rugby Team, nicknamed ‘Brave Blossoms’, has appeared at every Rugby World Cup since the inaugural tournament in 1987 and, having proven themselves one of the strongest ‘Tier 2’ countries over the decades, were recently promoted to ‘Tier 1’ status by World Rugby. However, on June 4, 1995, at Free State Stadium, a.k.a. Toyota Stadium, in Bloemfontein, South Africa, Japan suffered an embarrassing 145-17 defeat at the hands of New Zealand (neighbours of the aussies, home of sun, sea, surf sand and australia online casino), which remains the highest points tally in the history of the Rugby World Cup.

Fresh from a spirited, but ultimately losing, encounter with Ireland at the same venue, Japan faced a second-string All Blacks side, without first-choice wing Jonah Lomu – who still holds the record, albeit jointly, for the most tries scored in the Rugby World Cup – to name but one. Nevertheless, even with a so-called ‘B’ team, the All Blacks set about dismantling their lightweight opponents in a display of ruthless professionalism. Winger Eric Rush opened the scoring with the first of his three tries after just two minutes and, by half-time, New Zealand were already out of sight, leading 84-3, with the only Japanese points coming from the boot of fly-half Keiji Hirose.

All told, the All Blacks scored 21 tries, of which outside centre Marc Ellis contributed six, which is still a world record. Fly-half Simon Culhane, deputising for the rested Andrew Mehrtens, was successful with all bar one of his conversions attempts and also scored a try, for an individual points total of 45, the highest in the history of the Rugby World Cup. If I could translate that success rate to new online casinos, I’d be quids in!

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