Beyond the Page - October 1, 2019

By Daniel Jones

The Rugby World Cup is in full swing and the action so far has been coming at a frenzied pace.

No doubt the story of the tournament so far has been Japan’s upset of Ireland last week in front of a home crowd, as they are hosting the tournament itself.

Before the tournament was underway, Ireland was a favorite to take it all, but now Japan is looking toward the quarter finals with matches upcoming against Samoa and an underperforming Scotland.

Coach Jamie Joseph was intent on letting his side have a fun night out after the big win.

“The boys will have a couple of beers tonight,” he told The Rugby Paper.

On the win he credits preparation as the key.

“The Irish team is a quality rugby side, but we have been preparing for this game for a hell of a lot longer than the Irish have,” Joseph continued.”

He went on to state that the Blossoms have been working on that game for a year, or even subconsciously the past three years, while the Irish had just been thinking about it for a few days.

In a sentiment that I often echo regarding sports that have a worldwide following, he loved having the upset happen in front of an actual national home crowd.

“When you think about what we have witnessed tonight, 50,000 people here of whom 40,000 were in (Japan’s) red jerseys, you feel really proud as a coach and as a rugby team,” he said.  “We certainly didn’t want to let down the country.”

Japan is no stranger to Rugby World Cup upsets, as they defeated a Tier 1 South Africa side 34-32 in the 2015 World Cup in much the same way.

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When it comes to the US Eagles side participating in the cup, one can’t say there have been any upsets, as they were absolutely walloped 45-7 by England during their first game last Thursday.

Their path toward the knockout stage doesn’t get much easier with matches against powerhouses Argentina and France looming.  The Eagles should soar by Tonga to at least get some consolation points in Pool C.  I’m hopeful they at least get the bonus point.

Regardless of whether they win or lose, you cheer and support your national team, always.

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After a run on the festival circuit, NSU Professor Melody Gilbert’s documentary “Silicone Soul” about the connection some people have to synthetic companions will begin airing on STARZ.

It broadcasts at 7:47 p.m. today and 10:35 p.m. on Saturday, or on the apps.

More info is at www.siliconesoulmovie.com.

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I was happy to see the Many Tigers enter the win column on Friday after having a three-game slide to start the year playing to teams in higher divisions.

Terrence Williams had just about the best night I can remember anyone having in my five years of covering Tiger football. 

Although I know rugby and soccer a little bit better than the gridiron I know that one thing is probably fundamentally the same.  Any one player is only as good as the men around them, and the Tigers don’t lack in other aspects of the game.  Cadillac Rhone is on his way to becoming a complete quarterback.  Trotter Lafollette hit an almost 50-yard field goal in game.  Add in other names like Shamarion Wiseman, Drake Dye, Abram Strahan, Isaac Davis, Jacolby Cade, and so many others and it’s a recipe for success.  Also take into consideration many of them are underclassmen and that the Tigers have one of, if not the most dedicated coaching staff in the state.

The rest of this season is going to be good.

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Speaking of coaches, Jess Jobe is doing a fantastic job with the NSU Lady Demons Soccer Team.  A 1-0 loss to school rivals McNeese on Sunday ended a five-game winning streak.

The team has a few games on the road but will be back home on October 11 against Southland Conference rivals Sam Houston State. 

I failed to mention how nice NSU’s soccer complex is.  Well worth going if you happen to be in Natchitoches.

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That's it for today.  I hope you enjoyed this first edition of "Beyond the Page."  It's a column designed to let us offer something exclusive to sabinetoday.com but with the intent of going beyond the pages of what can be contained in the Index.  

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