Rugby: Japan kick off Pacific Nations Cup with Canada win
- Updated: July 19, 2015
July 19, 2015: Ayumu Goromaru kicked 15 points and Yoshikazu Fujita scored the only try of the game as Japan extended their unbeaten run against Canada to seven matches with a 20-6 win in their Pacific Nations Cup opener on Saturday, www.worldrugby.com reported
Canada’s points at the Avaya Stadium in San Jose came from the boot of Gordon McRorie who kicked two penalties, one in each half. Samoa beat the USA 21-16 in a later match at the same venue, while Fiji kicked off the six-team tournament by beating Tonga 30-22 in Suva.
Goromaru, Japan’s all-time record points scorer, kicked the Brave Blossoms ahead after only eight minutes. The lead increased to 8-0 five minutes later when Kotaro Matsushima darted through the Canadian line and offloaded to Fujita who cruised in for his 25th test try. Canada responded when McRorie converted his first penalty of the game after Hitoshi Ono was penalised.
Goromaru extended the Japanese lead in the 29th minute to 11-3 with his second penalty of the match. A few minutes later, Japan were reduced to 14 men as Yu Tamara was sent to the sin bin for a tip tackle on Connor Braid. Despite the man advantage, Canada were unable to put points on the board and trailed 11-3 at the break after Goromaru missed a penalty in the 39th minute.
However, he would make up for it in the 44th minute as Canada were penalised for not using the ball at the back of the scrum and less than 10 minutes later, the lead was 17-3.
Once again Canada responded well as first Braid smashed through the Japanese line but his offload found the hands of Michael Broadhurst, which ultimately led to a penalty that McRorie converted in the 61st minute.
Goromaru added his fifth and final penalty in the 67th minute to make it 20-6 and Canada spent the final 10 minutes of the game camped in the Japanese half, but couldn’t find a way past the resilient Brave Blossoms’ defence.
Canada coach Kieran Crowley said: “You just can’t [commit penalties] at this level because you know they’re all pretty good goal kickers,” said. “The frustrating part was we were in pretty good position to get points, we’d give away a penalty and that would turn into points for them down the other end.”
Source: World Rugby (www.worldrugby.org); Editing by SportAsia