- 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 ～
- 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
- legions of ～
- bond together
- 勝つ（後出は優勝する、victory は勝利、get the better of ～は～より勝る）
- pool stage
- at one stage
- to date
- trail ～
- stick one's chest out
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.
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