Rugby World Cup 2019: Mike McRoberts suggests Jamie Joseph could be Halberg contender

Newshub's Mike McRoberts thinks Japan coach Jamie Joseph could be a contender for the Halberg Awards, should his side go all the way to the Rugby World Cup final.

The 'Brave Blossoms' advanced to the quarter-finals for the first time, after a 28-21 win over Scotland on Sunday night.

Speaking to The AM Show from Japan on Monday morning, McRoberts was full of praise for Japan's preparation at the tournament, touching on their upset win against Ireland in pool play.

"The way this Japanese team has prepared for every single game they've gone into - particularly that Ireland game - that was amazing the way they did that."

McRoberts was also full of praise for Joseph, one of several New Zealanders coaching international teams at this world cup.

"I wonder if Jamie Joseph could be eligible for the Halbergs if Japan go through to the final? Why not?"

After Sunday night's win against Scotland, Joseph said they felt the weight of the nation.

"We understand that we're representing a nation," Joseph said.

"We're trusting each other, trust what we've trained and planned, and I think that was the difference in the end."

Newshub sports reporter John Day said there was a "deafening roar", as the crowd celebrated the victory on Sunday night.

"The team, the fans, [and] the country are celebrating - a landmark day in their rugby history."

A humble nation

The Brave Blossoms have been left humbled by the nation's support, as the country deals with the destruction of Typhoon Hagibis.

Japan dedicated their win to the victims of the disaster, which has left at least 35 people dead and more than a dozen missing.

Joseph said those affected by the typhoon were never far from their thoughts.

"While we're celebrating our victory, there are a lot of people that are really suffering," Joseph said.

"It's a test match that we didn't want to lose - and it's those things like the people that we're playing for that really help us."

McRoberts said New Zealand could learn a lot from Japan's response to the disaster.

Jamie Joseph.
Jamie Joseph. Photo credit: Reuters

"When you see some of the damage that was caused, a lot of these buildings sustained it very well," he told The AM Show. "Particularly in Tokyo - there wasn't much damage at all.

"There certainly wasn't loss of life like there was in other regions along the coast."

Join us for live updates of the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals next weekend.

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