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South Africa crush Japan in final World Cup warm-up

Reuters

Japan's Kotaro Matsushima scores their first try in the second half at the Kumagaya Rugby Stadium on Friday.

Reuters KUMAGAYA, Saitama (Reuters) — A hat-trick of tries from Makazole Mapimpi led South Africa to a comfortable 41-7 victory over Japan on Friday in their final World Cup warm-up match, laying down a tournament marker and gaining revenge for defeat four years ago.

Winger Cheslin Kolbe opened the scoring with a neat finish on seven minutes, before Mapimpi ran in two easy tries from the other flank as the Springboks built a 22-0 lead at halftime in Kumagaya.

Further tries from Mapimpi and Kolbe either side of Kotaro Matsushima’s consolation and a final flourish from Herschel Jantjies secured victory for South Africa and helped soothe the memory of Japan’s famous win at the 2015 World Cup.

Japan must look for improvement in their World Cup opener against Russia on Sept. 20 before South Africa begin their campaign against reigning champions New Zealand a day later.

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