Japan A Fall to Hurricanes Development Side

After wins over the Highlanders A in Dunedin and the Blues A in Auckland, Japan A ended their tour of New Zealand with a 36-27 loss to the Hurricanes Development side in Levin.

Tries to first five Rikiya Matsuda and number eight Fetuani Lautaimi helped the Japanese side to a 17-12 lead at the break, only for the Hurricanes side to come over the top in the second half. The home side led 33-20 until late in the match before a try to Japan international wing Akihito Yamada helped close the final score to 36-27.

Comments by head coach Takanobu Horikawa, “We prepared well, but this was a disappointing result. There really was not much between the two sides, but a loss is a loss. We will review the match and look for areas we let ourselves down. Nevertheless, we finished this tour with two wins for one loss and so there are a lot of positives to take away. A number of players have made big strides forward on this tour as we look to build the national side for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.”

Comments by game captain Shunsuke Nunomaki, “As this was our last game on tour, we really wanted to finish with a win. However, we could not make that happen. We let ourselves down with loose ball and our communication was not good at times. This squad came together as a unit on this tour and hopefully we can take that spirit into the the upcoming June test season.”

Game 3:

Hurricanes Development 36 d Japan A 27

Date: Thursday, 26 April 2018
Venue: Courtesy Domain, Levin
Kick-off: 17.30 (14.30 JST)
Halftime: Hurricanes Development 12 – Japan A 17

Japan A 27 – Tries: Rikiya Matsuda, Fetuani Lautaimi and Akihito Yamada; Conversions: Rikiya Matsuda 2 and Ryuji Noguchi; Penalties: Rikiya Matsuda and Ryoto Nakamura

Japan A: 1- Koki Yamamoto, 2- Atsushi Sakate, 3- Genki Sudo, 4- Samuela Anise, 5- Uwe Helu, 6- Faulua Makisi, 7- Shunsuke Nunomaki (c), 8- Fetuani Lautaimi, 9- Keisuke Uchida, 10- Rikiya Matsuda, 11- Akihito Yamada, 12- Kanta Shikao, 13- Daishi Murata, 14- Lomano Lemeki and 15- Ryuji Noguchi. Reserves: 16- Takeshi Hino, 17- Emersen Tamura, 18- Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 19- Shinya Makabe, 20- Yuya Odo, 21- Masakatsu Nishikawa, 22- Naoto Saito, 23- Ryoto Nakamura, 24- Hitoshi Matsumoto and 25- Robbie Robinson. Coach: Takanobu Horikawa.