The 2015 Rugby World Cup has roared into life with an upset for the ages. Here's all that occurred in the early hours this morning.
While you were tucked up in bed, the biggest upset in World Cup history unfolded when Japan pulled off a victory for the ages by defeating two-time champions South Africa 34-32. No such hiccups for another Cup contender in Ireland who made short work of Canada, triumphing 50-7. In the other match played overnight, New Zealand fans got their first look at their group opposition in action with Georgia overcoming Tonga 17-10. This morning, France took down Italy with an impressive display, winning 32-10.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Because it's blown the myth that the group matches between the leading contenders and the minnows will be a stroll in the park for the big guns.
Look no further than the men from the Rising Sun. That victory over South Africa is unlikely to be topped by anybody this tournament and ruined TAB's Punt for a Million for most entrants in one foul swoop.
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT THE ALL BLACKS
It's a timely reminder that nothing can be taken for granted. It also raises whether South Africa can even get out of their group now, which will have a marked impact on predictions of who might face who from the quarter finals on.
The All Blacks kick a ball for the first time in anger at 3.45am tomorrow against Argentina. Samoa take on the US Eagles at 11pm tonight and Wales are up against Uruguay at 1.30am overnight NZ time.
For more stats go to Herald Rugby Stats Centre