Japan blitz Korea 47-29 in Asian Championship

Japan began the defence of their Asia Rugby Championship title with a seven-try win over Korea, the World Rugby website reported. 

Japan outscored hosts Korea seven tries to five to open their Asia Rugby Championship defence with an entertaining 47-29 win in Incheon. Ryoto Nakamura, Kazuhito Usami and Ryuji Noguchi bagged a brace of tries apiece before prop Shintaro Ishihara confirmed the win for the defending champions with their seventh try 10 minutes from time.Korea, who boasted five different try-scorers, never gave up the fight and restricted Japan to their smallest margin of victory since the Brave Blossoms’ current 16-game winning streak in fixtures between the two teams began in 2004.Jamie Joseph’s side looked as though they were going to run up a cricket score when inside centre Nakamura and second-row Usami got the first of their two tries within the first eight minutes, both converted by debutant fly-half Jumpei Ogura.

But Korea hit back with two quick tries of their own through Han Kun-kyu and Kim Jeep to close the gap to two points.

Korea’s forwards continued to cause Japan problems but Nakamura’s second and a further try from Noguchi, again converted by Ogura, gave them a sizeable cushion again.

http://www.worldrugby.org/photos/242628

After 32 minutes, Korea were reduced to 14 men when full-back Lee Jae Bok was sent to the sin-bin, and Japan capitalised to score through Usami. Ogura’s fifth conversion sent his side into the break 35-12 up.

Despite starting the second half short-handed, Korea clawed seven points back within 20 seconds of the restart when number eight Lee Yong Seung charged over for a converted try.

Scrum-half Shin Ki Cheol then dived over following some good work from his pack as the hosts closed to within 11 points.

Noguchi and Shintaro Ishihara ensured Japan would come away with the win, before Chang Yong Heung grabbed a consolation for Korea on the stroke of full-time.

It’s less than 10 days to go till the draw of the Rugby World Cup 2019…watch this space to find out which cities will be hosting the cream of world rugby. 

%d bloggers like this: