Russia warn Japan to bring 'A-game'

20 September 2019 | Sports

Russia captain Vasily Artemyev has warned Japan that unless they bring their “A-game” to today's Rugby World Cup opener, the hosts could face a mauling.

The Japanese go into their Pool A clash in Tokyo as strong favourites, but Artemyev insisted that Russia's 'Bears' would be ready to pounce if Jamie Joseph's side fail to produce their best.

“The pressure is on Japan to perform in front of their home crowd,” Artemyev told AFP in an interview.

“In realistic terms we may only have a 20% chance but we will do our best definitely to spoil it for Japan.

“As strong as they are, Japan will have to bring their A-game to win,” added Russia's record try-scorer.

“If they play any less I think we'll have a good chance.”

Japan, currently ranked 10th in the world, squeaked a narrow 32-27 victory when the teams met last November.

And Artemyev promised the Russians would rise to the challenge in front of 40 000 fans in Tokyo, while attempting to ratchet up the mind games.

“If we were playing against an underdog team, we would be under a lot of pressure to get the win under our belts,” said the 32-year-old, who starts as full-back against Japan.

“I don't think we need to put any pressure on ourselves. Everybody understands how big the game is, how big the occasion is; there will be enough adrenaline in our bodies to raise the dead.”

Japan, who sent shockwaves through rugby by stunning South Africa 34-32 in their World Cup opener four years ago, have targeted reaching the knockout stages for the first time.

The Brave Blossoms will likely need to beat Scotland in their final group game to achieve that, following fixtures against Ireland and Samoa, leaving them no margin for error.

But Artemyev has threatened to cause “chaos” to Japan's plans on Friday, despite Russia's shaky build-up to the tournament, which included a record 85-15 pummelling by Italy. “We've been working really hard to be competitive; we're not just another team Japan can push over,” said the veteran winger, who went to university in Dublin and speaks English with a distinctly Irish twang.

“It's almost a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a lot of the guys. We need to counter their organisation and add a little bit of chaos into their organisation.”

Russia coach Lyn Jones predicts a “fast and furious” game against the Japanese and has backed wingers Kirill Golosnitskiy and German Davydov to keep Japan's defence busy.

Artemyev, meanwhile, pointed to an experienced core of players in the Bears side who can bring a sense of calm in only the country's second World Cup appearance, and first since 2011.

“The amount of attention is a bit unusual for our boys,” he admitted.

“But we have a good mixture of youth and experience and you learn how to manage your nervousness and your emotions for big games.

“The experienced guys with cooler heads can direct the hot-hearted guys like German towards the same goal.”

Artemyev himself can't wait for kick-off.

“Many of our modern supporters don't remember us playing in 2011 in New Zealand,” he said.

“We want to show we can compete against Tier One nations and we want to become a regular fixture at the World Cup that's our main goal for the future.”


Similar News


The Desert Dash is on

28 minutes ago | Sports

The 20th edition of the Nedbank Desert Dash is set to take place in the first week of December. The event, which annually attracts...

Pack and leave

28 minutes ago | Sports

JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA I am writing this hoping that it will reach those that I believe do not have the interest...

Tonga beat USA

28 minutes ago | Sports

Tonga enjoyed a final flourish at the Rugby World Cup as they beat the United States 31-19 to maintain their 20-year dominance over the Eagles...

Bottas win seals world title double for Mercedes

28 minutes ago | Sports

Valtteri Bottas jumped from third to first with an electric start to win the Japanese Grand Prix yesterday ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and the...

Italy clinch place at Euro 2020 as Spain made...

28 minutes ago | Sports

Italy became the second team to qualify for Euro 2020 after a 2-0 win over Greece on Saturday, while three-time champions Spain edged closer to...

Green light for epic clash

3 days ago - 11 October 2019 | Sports

Namibia and Canada will find themselves in a storm of their own in Sunday's final Pool B match at the Japan Rugby World Cup.Both countries...

Jones thanks 'typhoon gods'

3 days ago - 11 October 2019 | Sports

England coach Eddie Jones said Super Typhoon Hagibis has given his team a “great opportunity”, after their final group game against France was cancelled for...

Govt calls out corporates

3 days ago - 11 October 2019 | Sports

Sports ministry director Jo-Ann Manuel has strongly urged corporate Namibia to assist the government with sport development.Manuel said at a media conference this week there...

Super typhoon looms

4 days ago - 10 October 2019 | Sports

A super typhoon, among the most powerful in decades, was set to hit Japan this holiday weekend, weather officials warned yesterday, and could severely disrupt...

Ready to rumble

4 days ago - 10 October 2019 | Sports

MTC's Tim Ekandjo has dealt with the issue of why boxing is being used as part of the MTC Knockout project to raise awareness and...

Latest News

Jooste tackles 'suspension culture'

3 days ago - 11 October 2019 | Government

Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste says some state-owned enterprises continue to defy a standing order that CEO and senior management suspensions should only take place...

Thank you Team Namibia!

3 days ago - 11 October 2019 | Opinion

As a super typhoon wreaks havoc on the unfolding Japan Rugby World Cup, it was announced yesterday that the final Pool B clash between Namibia...

Oshakati abattoir back in business

3 days ago - 11 October 2019 | Agriculture

The Oshakati abattoir, which was expected to provide relief to farmers in the northern communal areas (NCAs), has reopened but the quality of meat from...

Pupils suffer after freak wind

3 days ago - 11 October 2019 | Accidents

Over 300 Oniipa Primary School learners are being taught under trees after a strong wind blew off the roofing of eight classrooms.Wednesday's wind also caused...

Farming is a dying sector

3 days ago - 11 October 2019 | Agriculture

Namibian farmers should diversify their income away from livestock and crop farming and enter new sectors.This is the view of Vehaka Tjimune, the senior policy...

Inmate loses N$3.5m lawsuit

3 days ago - 11 October 2019 | Justice

Namibian prison services were absolved of any blame in a N$3.5 million lawsuit brought by a prisoner who accused medical officers at the Windhoek prison...

Going to the next level

3 days ago - 11 October 2019 | Art and Entertainment

There is no doubt in anyone's mind that actress Hazel Hinda has been on form, on killing every production she's been in for the last...

'It's been a long walk...

3 days ago - 11 October 2019 | Art and Entertainment

As part of her NAMA 2019 winnings, Lize Ehlers and a partner will be the lucky winners of a fully-paid trip to Thailand courtesy of...

Death of a genre

3 days ago - 11 October 2019 | Columns

I am so disappointed and irked by the way R&B is being let down in Namibia. At the moment I have no favourite Namibian R&B...

Load More