Japan XV fall to World XV

FUKUOKA (Oct. 28) –  A Japan XV was defeated 47-27 by a World XV on Saturday at Level 5 Stadium, one of the venues for Rugby World Cup 2019.

The invitation side outscored Jamie Joseph’s side seven tries to three with Yoshikazu Fujita touching down twice for Robbie Deans’ side and Ayumu Goromaru weighing in with five conversions.

“It was 47-27 so it was quite a big margin (that we lost by) but we were able to achieve some of the things we were trying to do,” said Japan captain Michael Leitch.

“We were unstructured in defense and there were a number of times that we allowed (their players) to get through the gaps. We need to have more structure.”

The first half was a tight affair with the teams turning around with just one point separating them at 14-13.

Fujita and Vince Aso touched down for the World XV with Yu Tamura kicking two penalties and converting Ryuji Noguchi’s try that he created with a good dummy and break.

The second half, however was a different affair.

With Noguchi in the sin bin, the invitation side added further tries from Sam Wykes, Adriaan Strauss and Fujita before Corey Flynn rumbled over to make it 40-13.

The game ended with Sione Teaupa and Uwe Helu, crossing for Japan either side of a try by Richard Buckman as both sides did their best to defy the wet conditions in Fukuoka.

“We knew we had to keep the ball a bit and not give them a chance to run,” Ellis said of his side’s tactics in the second half.

Meanwhile, Leitch said: “There were positive and negative outcomes to the new things we tried in defense and in a good way that has given us things we need to work on ahead of the test against Australia.”