Rugby World Cup 2015: Reaction to Japan's stunning victory

Japan beat South Africa
Japan had not won a World Cup game since 1991, while South Africa, winners in 1995 and 2007, had never before lost their opening game of the tournament
Rugby World Cup
Hosts: England Dates: 18 September-31 October
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra, BBC local radio, plus live text commentary on every match on the BBC Sport website.
Further coverage: BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio.

The biggest shock in the sport's history? The best game in the history of the Rugby World Cup?

Japan's stunning win over South Africa on Saturday had the sport's biggest names - among them Jonny Wilkinson, Sir Clive Woodward and Jonah Lomu - queuing up to describe it in the most colourful of terms.

Beaten South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer said the result was "unacceptable - I have to apologise to the nation".

And when someone with an imagination as vivid as that of JK Rowling, the creator of Harry Potter, tweets "you couldn't write this", you know you've seen something astonishing.

Japan beat South Africa
Former Wales player Matthew J Watkins said he "loved" this image referencing South Africa's Springboks nickname on Twitter

England's 2003 World Cup-winning coach Sir CliveWoodward hailed the victors' decision to go for the winning try rather than a penalty that would have in all probability secured a draw.

Sir Clive Woodward

Jonny Wilkinson, no stranger to last-gasp World Cup heroics himself, was as impressed as his former England coach.

Jonny Wilkinson

Two of Wilkinson's former England team-mates also weighed in.

Simon Shaw
Will Greenwood

Jonah Lomu, on the wrong end of France's stunning comeback when Les Bleus beat the All Blacks in the 1999 semi-final, felt Japan's win had raised the current tournament to another level.

Jonah Lomu

Japan trailed 29-22 with 18 minutes left after Adriaan Strauss powered over the line for the Springboks, making the final result even more amazing for former England and Lions hooker Brian Moore.

Brian Moore

Former Wales and Lions flanker Martyn Williams was equally impressed.

Martyn Williams

Another Welsh ex-Lion, Shane Williams, looked at Japan's win in light of their next outing - against Scotland on Wednesday.

Shane Williams

Former Wales fly-half Jonathan Davies and ex-Scotland winger Kenny Logan could scarcely believe what they had seen.

Jonathan Davies
Kenny Logan

And BBC Sport's Ben Dirs looked back to another great sporting shock, Buster Douglas's defeat of Mike Tyson for the world heavyweight title in 1990 - in Japan, of all places.

Ben Dirs
Rugby World Cup shocks
More from rugby:
Get World Cup alerts direct to your phone
Rugby World Cup 2015 fixtures and groups
How to follow the Rugby World Cup on the BBC
For the latest rugby union news, follow @bbcrugbyunion on Twitter

Top Stories