What a start! Venatour at Rugby World Cup 2019™ – Week 1 | #TravelTuesday

 In Rugby World Cup

With some incredible matches, breathtaking tries and monster hits, Rugby World Cup 2019™ is certainly up and running.

Venatour offers a range of packages for the Japan tournament, with the Opening Weekender group enjoying three huge matches, before taking in the sights of Tokyo.

Following the opening ceremony, Russia took a surprise lead against Japan in the first game of Rugby World Cup 2019™ before the hosts fought back thanks to an electric Kotaro Matsushima hattrick.

On Saturday, the tourists watched the reigning champions New Zealand take on Cooch’s tournament favourites South Africa as the two rugby titans fought off in a thrilling match.

The fantastic matches did not stop there, with Venatour clients in attendance for Ireland’s thrashing of Six Nations rivals Scotland.

Meanwhile, tourists on the Follow England packages have also enjoyed a fantastic start.

After watching England’s bonus-point victory over Tonga in Sapporo, one client shared their match report from the spectacle:

The Sapporo Dome is a modern, most impressive stadium. It holds roughly 40,000 and is primarily used for baseball. It is wholly covered given that the winters in Sapporo are harsh. For rugby (and football), they wheel in (literally) a new grass pitch and the shape of the stadium appears to change too because all the spectators seem to be quite close to the pitch. The playing surface was perfection. At the end of the game, it was hard to spot that a major match had just occurred!

Yesterday evening’s game v Tonga was like the veritable curate’s egg. There were a number of positives – maximum 5 points, no obvious injuries especially in the pack, excellent scrummaging against the heaviest pack in the tournament and a very solid lineout, great work from the Ford/Farrell duo and solidity by the back 3 under the high ball. Man of the Match, Manu Tuilagi was a handful throughout with Maro Itoje also prominent in all phases.

The negatives – an enormous number of handling errors (of which more anon), far too many penalties especially at the breakdown, the replacements/’finishers’ generally being off the pace, particularly at scrum half but excepting Ludlam (on for Underhill at No 7), inability to put consistent phases of play together, i.e. disappointing ball retention.

Tonga were clearly fired-up but lacked skill/subtlety but provided excellent tackling practice. Saw the team in the airport and they are massive, especially Ben Tameifuna, the 23 stone/155 kg tight head. It was disappointing that England managed only 4 tries (2 in each half) but 4 is sufficient for a bonus point.


Handling errors have been a feature of all the games on the opening weekend. The ball being used has some special features but presumably that is what all the teams have practised with. Moreover, the handling at the lineout was very good so why were so many ‘normal’ passes dropped? Hopefully, Eddie and his team will answer that conundrum quickly, ideally by Thursday for the USA game.

We are moving from a beer city to a sake centre. Kobe has more sake brewers than any other in Japan so hope to learn more about it. Sapporo beer is recommended.

The France v Argentina result shows that both teams are a threat. However, USA mustn’t be under-estimated too. More after that game.

With more Venatour tourists are flocking to Japan over the next few days, we look forward to welcoming them to one of the greatest sporting events on the planet in a country that keeps on giving.



Recent Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search

Cooch's England XV vs Tonga | Rugby World Cup 2019™Rugby World Cup 2019 TV Schedule