Japanese rugby’s most famous day in Brighton is to be made into a movie called ‘The Brighton Miracle’.
The Cherry Blossoms caused a huge upset by defeating tournament heavyweights South Africa 34-32 with a last-gasp try through replacement back Karne Hesketh, sparking wild scenes from Japan fans and neutrals alike in the stadium.
In a win described by then Japan head coach Eddie Jones as being ‘fantastic for the sport’, Australian filmmakers are set to begin shooting the film in January.
“What Eddie Jones and his team did in 2015 was truly magnificent and worthy of being remembered,” Mannix said.
“The story goes beyond rugby in the same way Chariots of Fire wasn’t just about running. That was more a film about the distinction between class, belief and religion.
“No one gave the Japan team a chance against South Africa, who at the time were the most successful World Cup team in history. The result was celebrated around the world.
“What I want to do is try and show why it happened and where did the self-belief come from.”
In the Pool B opener, tension was ratcheted up when a Handre Pollard penalty looked to swing the odds in South Africa’s favour after scores were level 29-29.
But Japan came back fighting to dominate at the set-piece, with Boks prop Coenie Oosthuizen binned for collapsing the maul. Instead of taking the three points to draw the game, captain Michael Leitch opted for the scrum and Jones threw on the fresh legs of Hesketh.
With 84 minutes on the clock, Hesketh would score the try which inflicted defeat on South Africa in the first ever Test meeting between the two nations.
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