SPORTS

Junior Japan Win First Challenge

Samoa continuously failed to counter the Japanese at break­down areas.
09 Mar 2019 16:17
Junior Japan Win First Challenge
Junior Japan Captain Shota Fukui on attack against Samoa A during 2019 World Rugby Pacific Challenge at ANZ Stadium on March 8, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Junior Japan 31:(Tomoki Kishioka 1 pen, 3 con, 1 try, Siosaia Ofa 1 try, Yuta Koka­ji 1 try, Yuta Kokaji 1 try, Rintaro Maruyama 2 con

Samoa A 21( Patrick Pati 1 try, Tonipo Iamanu 1 con, Simon Fauoo 2 tries, D’angelo Leuila 2 con)

What happened; Junior Japan drew first blood in the opening round of the World Rugby Pacific Challenge with a 31-21 win over Samoa A at the ANZ Stadium yes­terday.

The Japanese got off to a strong start as they were able to dis­played good counter attack and were structured in their defence which put the Samoans under the pump.

This resulted in Tomoki Kish­ioka scoring from a penalty.

Japan continued to apply pres­sure and scored their first try through centre Siosaia Ofa and Kishioka with the conversion.

Samoa regrouped just before halftime and scored their first try through Potu Levasa converted by Tonipo Iamanu. Halftime: Junior Japan 10-7 Samoa A.

Junior Japan lifted intensity at the restart as first five-eighth Kishioka ran in to score their sec­ond try which he also converted.

Samoa continuously failed to counter the Japanese at break­down areas which allowed No. 8 Shota Fukui to dive in for their third try and converted by Kish­ioka. The Samoans lifted momen­tum mid way into second half capitalized on possession which saw winger Simon Fauoo scor­ing a double and converted by D’angelo Leuila which brought the score margin closer 24-21.

The Japanese youngsters dis­played a brilliant work rate up­front against the Samoans for­ward pack which saw Yuta Kokaji scoring their fourth try and con­verted by Rintaro Maruyama.

Big Play; Junior Japan young for­ward pack was brilliant in their attacking structures and defence.

Star Turn: Samoa A regrouped well midway in the second half for a comeback.

Comments; Junior Japan captain Shota Fukui said; “ It was a tough match against Samoa A we man­aged to stick to our game plan and win.

Samoa A coach Brian Lima said;

“ Congratulations to Japan, our own mistakes cost us, we commit a lot of mistakes in the first half.”

Feedback: anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

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