In years to come, people will no doubt ask me "Nigel, where were you when Japan beat South Africa at the 2015 Rugby World Cup?"

Well ...

I had been at Wembley Stadium for most of the day.

Argentina had held a press conference at midday, 24 hours prior to their opening game against New Zealand at that iconic sporting venue.


At its completion, there was a three hour gap, during which the commentary gear and telecommunication line back to New Zealand was tested, Georgia beat Tonga in a minor upset whilst a few stories were written and filed for the early morning sports bulletins, before the All Blacks delegation of coach Steve Hansen, Daniel Carter and Beauden Barrett arrived for their pre-game press conference and a kicking session for the two players.

At the end of our allotted time pitch side, all members of the fourth estate present climbed back up the stairs to the media room at Wembley to process our newly acquired material.

As we collectively sat down to write, cut and craft, South Africa and Japan strolled onto the sun drenched turf in Brighton for their Pool B encounter.

Two studious looking male Japanese journalists' immediately downed tools and set up station at the end of a long work table in front of one of the 42 inch LCD TV's that are dotted around the walls of the media centre and its adjacent lounge.

The duo's female colleague continued to work diligently on, as did the others in the media centre, save the occasional glance towards the big screen when points were scored.

I wandered past our journalistic brethren from Japan a couple of times in the first half on my way to fill up my coffee cup and grab another piece of shortbread.

At 3 nil to Japan, I gave them a nod "solid start lads" I remarked, which drew polite smiles.

Moments after Japanese captain Michael Leitch scored and with the lead at 10-7, another caffeine hit was required.


Another wee nod to our Japanese friends as I pass through - "You've got this lads" I say with a smile.

Two grins beam back at me again.

Halftime arrived with South Africa up 12-10 and the two Japanese gents were trying to turn the sound up on the TV.

Being a helpful kiwi bloke, I offered assistance and promptly turned off the TV.

The pair's mortification is obvious, but brief, as I quickly get the TV restarted. I take this as my cue to leave.

With work completed and filed; it was time to begin the long trek back from Wembley to Kingston upon Thames.


Three other members of the kiwi press contingent were kind enough to offer me a lift back to their hotel which was close to a bus stop that would allowed me to carry on to my own lodgings.

So off we wander to where the car was parked, pausing briefly to take a group photo of my travelling companions against the backdrop of Wembley Stadium once the car was packed.

And so the journey back began, as did the conversation.

It was standard male banter; a light-hearted, quadrangular review of recent experiences that included squirrel hunting, the flag debate (that didn't last long - we're all over it), music, "where are we?", a few movies quotes (I went with the overhead projector line from "The Castle"), the weeks accommodation, the young fella's plans for his night on the town, "I have no idea where we are", French rugby fans, should our driver have turned left back there and what is this tool in the yellow Toyota Celica doing?

The car came to a stop behind the afore mentioned tool in the banana coloured import at which point the senior man our traveling party pointed out an Argentinean restaurant to our left.

We all turned and looked and that's when we saw it.


Inside the restaurant, a TV screen with the rugby showing on it.

"Can you see the score, mate?"


"Look harder cuz."

"I still can't get see it."

But we all saw what popped up next on the screen.


South African flanker François Louw is crouching down on the turf with a confused, crest fallen look across his face.

Upon seeing that, out came the smart phones (not the driver mind you, but I'm sure if he could have, he would have), 4G engaged and utilised as we tried to catch up on what we missed.

That being the greatest upset in the history of rugby.

So, in years to come, when people ask "Nigel, where were you when Japan beat South Africa?" my reply will be "in a French made rental car driving through the suburbs of South West London talking crap with three other blokes".