Junior Japan lose to Fiji Warriors

Junior Japan are participating in the World Rugby Pacific Challenge 2017 in Fiji in March 2017. The Junior Japan side beat Samoa A 34-31 in their opening game before losing 39-16 to the Fiji Warriors. Junior Japan play Tonga A in their final game.

Fiji Warriors 39 d Junior Japan 16
Date: Tuesday, 14 March 2017
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Suva
Kick-off: 17:30

After beating Samoa A 34-31 in their opening game on Friday, Junior Japan took on the hosts Fiji Warriors at the ANZ Stadium in Suva on Tuesday in the World Rugby Pacific Challenge 2017. The Warriors proved to be too strong across the park and defeated Junior Japan 39-16.

An early penalty to halfback Naoto Saito got Japan on the scoreboard first and then a converted try to number eight Tevita Tatafu pushed the Juniors ahead 10-0. However, the Fijians dominated the middle twenty minutes of the opening half to open up a 24-10 lead. Saito closed out the half with two late penalties to take the teams to the break with the Fiji Warriors leading Junior Japan 24-16. The Warriors scored 15 unanswered points in the latter period to run out comfortable 39-16 winners.

After the match, head coach Satoru Endo commented, “The Fiji Warriors kept the pressure on us throughout the match and this played havoc with our game plan. We now have three days to prepare for Tonga A, and in the meantime we have to brush up on a few aspects of our game to come up with a win in our final match.”

Captain Kosuke Horikoshi added, “We started well, but after that the Pacific island style of rugby got the better of us, particularly in defence. We now want to look ahead to our final game and focus on putting our attacking structures in place.”

Junior Japan

1- Shogo Miura, 2- Kosuke Horikoshi (c), 3- Yusuke Kizu, 4- Takara Imamura, 5- Koji Iino, 6- Faulua Makisi, 7- Ryoi Kamei, 8- Tevita Tatafu, 9- Naoto Saito, 10- Taichi Mano, 11- Koki Takeyama, 12- Shogo Nakano, 13- Yuki Ikeda, 14- Shinya Morita, 15- Ryuji Noguchi. Reserves: 16- Ahn Chang-Ho, 17- Hinata Takei, 18- Taiki Fujii, 19- Naoaki Horibe, 20- Feinga Fakai, 21- Takumi Sue, 22- Tomoki Kishioka and 23- Takuhei Yasuda.

Junior Japan v Tonga A
Date: Saturday, 18 March 2017
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Suva
Kick-off: 12:30