Brown Praises Brave Blossoms’ Defensive Effort

OSAKA, Japan (Aug. 4) – Japan assistant coach Tony Brown said Saturday’s game with Tonga had been “a real tough test match” despite the 41-7 scoreline at Hanazono Rugby Stadium.
Brown, who took over as head coach for the game after Jamie Joseph flew home earlier in the day following the death of his mother in New Zealand, said it “had been very physical at the breakdown.” And he praised his side’s ability to stop the big Tongan side.
“I thought our defence was outstanding at times,” he said. “We put in a big effort (in training) on the collisions and every player tonight dominated defensively.”
Brown said his side had stuck to the game plan well, “putting the ball behind them and making them run backwards.”
Japan captain Michael Leitch, agreed and said the team was heading in the right direction with the Rugby World Cup getting ever closer.
“Winning two in a row gives us confidence. We were able to do everything we wanted to do with only a week to prepare. We also made use of the lessons from our last game,” he said.
His Tonga counterpart, Siale Piutau, praised the Brave Blossoms line speed, saying “We knew the game would be tough in terms of Japan’s speed. From my time playing here (for Yamaha Jubilo) we also know Japan are very good tacklers and they have aggressive line speed and we saw that tonight.”
Tonga head coach Toutai Kefu, meanwhile, said he was “very disappointed. The line-out was poor, I thought we didn’t get any good launch into the first phase, and we made far too many errors and put in too many loose kicks.”