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11月2日号 ラグビーW杯 日本、4強逃すも歴史的快進撃

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blossom
開花する(後出 Brave Blossoms は日本代表チームの愛称〈 brave は勇敢な、blossom は花 〉)
bow out of ~
~から退く
defeat ~
~を降す(後出 beat ~と fell ~も同意、defeat と写真説明の loss は敗北)
make strides
躍進する
quarterfinal
準々決勝(の)
thrill
わくわくさせる
legions of ~
大勢の~
diverse
多様な
bond together
結束する
win
勝つ(後出は優勝する、victory は勝利、get the better of ~は~より勝る)
pool stage
1次リーグ
contender
競争相手
at one stage
ある段階で
to date
今まで
crowd
観客
Springboks
南アフリカ代表チームの愛称
narrowly
かろうじて
trail ~
~で追う
try
敵陣のインゴールに球を置くこと(5点)
stick one's chest out
胸を張る
applause
拍手喝采
cheer
歓声
reverberate
鳴り響く
hail
たたえる
 

Blossoming Heroes   

Japan bowed out of the 2019 Rugby World Cup after being defeated by South Africa on Oct. 20, but not before making historic strides in the tournament and proceeding to the quarterfinals for the first time, thrilling legions of rugby fans.

The diverse Japanese team of 31 members, including 15 players from overseas, bonded together under the slogan "One Team," and won all four of their pool stage games to advance to the best eight of the tournament, which was held in Asia for the first time.

In the pool stage, Japan beat Ireland, a team that entered the World Cup ranked No. 1 in the world and which had been seen as a contender to win the tournament. They also felled Scotland, which have regularly made the World Cup's best eight. At one stage Japan rose as high as sixth in the world rankings — its best position to date.

In the quarterfinal match before a crowd of 48,831 at Tokyo Stadium in Tokyo, the Brave Blossoms sought to repeat the victory over the Springboks that they achieved in Brighton, England, during the 2015 World Cup. At the end of the first half, they narrowly trailed 3-5, but in the second half, South Africa's powerful forwards got the better of them. When the final whistle blew, Japan's 3-26 defeat was settled.

Captain Leitch Michael, 31, initially sat on the field after the match. But in spite of Japan's disappointment of failing to score a try, the team gathered in a circle and Leitch told them, "We don't need any time to look down. I want you to stick your chests out and be proud of this team."

Though Japan failed to make the best four, applause and cheers continued to reverberate across the stadium.

Head coach Jamie Joseph hailed the continuing efforts of the team that put in a brave World Cup performance worthy of their nickname, "The players and the brand of rugby that we've been playing all year, really, is inspiring," he said.

[本文 - 335 words]

週刊英語学習紙 毎日ウィークリー

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