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Junior Japan Beat Tonga A

Junior Japan Beat Tonga A
Takara Imamura runs through Samiu Muna of Tonga A. Photo: Jone Luvenitoga
March 19
13:46 2017

What happened; Junior Japan finished as runners up in the 2017 World Rugby Pacific Challenge after beating Tonga A 42-33 in the final round at the ANZ Stadium yesterday.

This is the first time for a Japanese side to finish second in the PRC but head coach Satoru Endo was not satisfied with the performance.

“We came here to win the PRC,”Endo said.

“But we have learnt a lot from our game against Fiji and we can improve for the future.

“I’m satisfied with the young boys’ performance against the island teams.”

Junior Japan started off well with the forwards scoring four tries in the first half.

The Japanese were too strong in the ruck and maul areas seeing No. 8 Fuala Makisi scoring a double and one to Kosuke Horikoshi.  Japan kept to their structure that resulted in Shogo Nakano scoring their fourth try and scrumhalf Naoto Saito was successful with the four conversions.

The Tongans scored three tries in the first half through Paki Afu who scored a double and one try to Frederick Kei. Fullback James Faiva kicked three conversions.

Japan led 28-19 at halftime.

Junior Japan had a strong start as Shogo Nakano cracked the Tongan defence line to score their fifth try, converted by Saito. The Tongans kept to their plan which saw No. 8 Topui Sekona scoring their fourth try and converted by Faiva.

The Japanese lifted the momentum as their forwards pack continues to drive their way through Tongan defence and scored their sixth try through Fuala Makisi which was converted by Saito. The Tongans continued to fight till the end resulting in captain Sione Lolohea  scoring the final try.

Big Play; Junior Japan forwards pack laid the platform for a well deserved victory.

Star Turn; Japanese structure, accuracy and execution.

Comments; Junior Japan coach Satoru Endo;

“It was a very physical game.”

Tonga A head coach Isi Fatani;

“Japan deserved to win, they were dominant in the breakdown and they have the speed. We need to take the positives as we prepare for the Uruguay tour in October. We got good players and we just need to train hard.”


Junior Japan 42 ( Fuala Makisi 3 tries,Kosuke Horikoshi 1 try, Shogo Nakano  2 tries, Naoto Saito 6 con)

Tonga A 33  ( Paki Afu 2 tries, Frederick Kei 1 try,Topui Sekona 1 try, James Faiva 4 con, Sione Lolohea 1 try)



Edited by Osea Bola


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