The cherry blossoms
finish up with a third and
So Japan did as I expected and won their third match and went out in style. The USA did well. Usually all teams who win 3 matches go onto qualify but unfortunately not in this case. I don’t know the audience figures for this match but apparently their second last match, the win against Samoa, was watched by 25 million people in Japan. Not bad. Japan can look forward to hosting 2019 now. Nice to see the 2015 hosts get themselves together, too little too late though, for a thumping win (no disrespect to Uruguay).
アイルランド played fantastic against Les Bleus aka フランス yesterday, winning and taking top spot in the pool but losing two of our top players, including our Toulon-bound captain, to injury, the captain needing oxygen at the end of the first half. The celebration was tainted a bit more by bad behaviour from one of our players which might get him an official citing and no more action for him in our world cup. A punch in the stomach for Papé. Tut Tut. Luckily, we have quality substitutes should he have to be replaced. It was a really good match otherwise. We should still watch out for アルゼンチン , our next opponents who are serious contenders. フランス get to play ニュージーランド (新西蘭 in kanji, read as にゅうじいらんど) and I honestly think NZ will get the better of them but who knows.
I found this kanji and its reading for NZ on jisho.org and the reading of it surprised me but you learn something new every day don’t you. While katakana is used most of the time for countries, it’s no harm, and quite interesting, to know the kanji as well. So while I knew my own already, I thought I’d look up the others as well.
The quarterfinalists, in Japanese (Kana and Kanji + readings, except Scotland which just has kana), are:
ニュージーランド is 新西蘭 (read as にゅうじいらんど)
フランス is 仏・ふつ or 仏国・ふっこく
アイルランド is 愛蘭 (note the ai /love in there)
アルゼンチン is 亜爾然丁
オーストラリア is 豪州 ・ごうしゅう
ウェールズ in Kanji goes by its old name Cambria which is 寒武利亜 ・カンブリア
南アフリカ is 南阿・なんあ
スコットランド does not seem to have a kanji form, according to jisho.org and the wwwjd platform (which has the same entries). I also looked up the Japanese-language entry on Scotland in Wikipedia and it did not include it there either. Nor is there a kanji reading for the Gaelic and Latin names for Scotland (Alba and Caledonia respectively).