Pool play has mercifully ended; a slate of high-octane quarter-finals lies in wait. It's time to roll out Fact or Fiction.

JAPAN, THE TEAM, HAVE SAVED JAPAN, THE COUNTRY'S, WORLD CUP

A slew of game-distorting cards, whole weeks of insipid mismatches and thundering typhoons, the early stages of this World Cup will not be remembered kindly by historians of the 15-man code.

Then again, we had Japan.

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Japan doing what Japan does best - being the darlings of the the World Cup. Photo / Getty Images
Japan doing what Japan does best - being the darlings of the the World Cup. Photo / Getty Images

What a revelation the Cherry Blossoms have been under the guidance of former Highlanders Jamie Joseph and Tony Brown. Not only have they beaten Six Nations sides Ireland and Scotland in Pool A,

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