Junior Japan at the World Rugby Pacific Challenge 2017

Junior Japan Beat Tonga A in Fiji

In the World Rugby Pacific Challenge 2017, Junior Japan beat Samoa A 34-31 in their opening game on Friday, then lost 39-16 to the Fiji Warriors on Tuesday. In their third and final game on Saturday, 18 March, Junior Japan came up with their second win when they beat Tonga A 42-33.

The Tongans led 12-0 early on before Junior Japan played their way back into the game. A brace of tries to number eight Faulua Makisi and another to captain and hooker Kosuke Horikoshi pushed the Japanese side ahead 21-12 before centre Shogo Nakano touched down late in the opening half to take the sides to the break with Junior Japan leading 28-19. Junior Japan and Tonga A scored two converted tries apiece in the latter half with Makisi and Nakano the scorers for the Juniors. Halfback Naoto Saito converted all six tries.

After the match, head coach Satoru Endo commented, “We came to Fiji to win this tournament and to finish second is a little disappointing. However, this squad has shown tremendous growth over these three games and the win today was very pleasing.”

Captain Kosuke Horikoshi added, “Everyone put in for the full 80 minutes out there today and we enjoyed the game and the win. We fell short of our overall aim of taking out the Challenge title, but the second-place finish is the best ever finish for a Japanese side at this tournament.”

Junior Japan

1- Shogo Miura, 2- Kosuke Horikoshi (c), 3- Yusuke Kizu, 4- Takara Imamura, 5- Koji Iino, 6- Kei Sato, 7- Ryoi Kamei, 8- Faulua Makisi, 9- Naoto Saito, 10- Taichi Mano, 11- Koki Takeyama, 12- Shogo Nakano, 13- Kanta Shikao, 14- Takuhei Yasuda, 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- Shinsuke Izeki.

Junior Japan 34 d Samoa A 31
Date: Friday, 10 March 2017
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Suva
Kick-off: 15:00

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

Junior Japan 42 d Tonga A 33
Date: Saturday, 18 March 2017
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Suva
Kick-off: 12:30