Test Match Report 1930-2019
日本語 Photo Journal
5 July 2008 at Apia Park
●Japan 31-37 Samoa○
Fell just one step short of Samoa
05/07/2008, IRB Pacific Nations Cup 2008
Japan 31 Samoa 37
Apia Park, Apia
Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand)
Touch Judges: 1st Napolioni Locoloco (Fiji), 2nd Hemi Siaosi (Samoa), 3rd Kalekolio Petelo (Samoa)
JAPAN: 15 Bryce Robins, 14 Christian Loamanu, 13 Koji Taira (21 Shotaro Onishi 70), 12 Ryan Nicholas, 11 Hirotoki Onozawa, 10 James Arlidge, 9 Tomoki Yoshida (20 Fumiaki Tanaka 55), 8 Ryukoliniasi Holani, 7 Hare Makiri, 6 Takuro Miuchi (capt) (Takashi Kikutani 34), 5 Toshizumi Kitagawa (18 Tomoaki Taniguchi 44, 16 Naonori Mizuyama temp-bs 61-62), 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Tomokazu Soma, 2 Yusuke Aoki, 1 Tatsukichi Nishiura (17 Yuta Inose 70).
Reserve: 22 Hiroki Yoshida.
Tries: Makiri, Robins, Onozawa, Kikutani; Conversions: Arlidge (4); Penalty Goal: Arlidge.
SAMOA: 15 Gavin Williams (21 Roger Warren 74), 14 Esera Lauina, 13 Henry Faafili (22 Paletuatoa Toelupe 77), 12 Anitele'a Tuilagi, 11 David Lemi, 10 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, 9 Uale Mai (20 Notise Tauafao 64), 8 Henry Tuilagi (18 Daniel Leo 2nd Half 40), 7 Semo Sititi (19 Jonathan Faamatuainu 58), 6 George Stowers, 5 Kane Thompson (19 Jonathan Faamatuainu temp-bs 52-58), (17 James Johnston temp-bs 77-80), 4 Fillipo Levi (capt), 3 Census Johnston, 2 Loleni Tafunai, 1 Hiroshi Tea (16 Simon Lemalu 58).
Tries: Sititi, Tafunai, Tea, A. Tuilagi, Johnston; Conversions: Williams (3); Penalty Goals: Williams (2).
Scoring sequence (Japan's score shown first): 3min-try Samoa, Sititi; conv. Williams-0-7, 7min-try Samoa, Tafunai; conv. Williams-0-14, 17min-try Japan, Makiri; conv. Arlidge-7-14, 20min-pen Japan, Arlidge 10-14, 33min-pen Samoa, Williams-10-17, 40min-try Japan, Robins; conv. Arlidge-17-17, Half-time, 43min-try Samoa, Tea; conv. Williams (missed)-17-22, 53min-try Samoa, A. Tuilagi; conv. Williams-17-29, 64min-try try Japan, Onozawa; conv. Arlidge-24-29, 69min-pen Samoa, Williams (missed), 72min-pen Samoa, Williams-24-32, 76min-try try Japan, Kikutani; conv. Arlidge-31-32, 78min-try Samoa, Johnston; conv. Warren (missed)-31-37.
“Ended in 5th place, but showed a close contest against powerful countries,” reported a sport journal about the Cup. Japan could not achieve their target of two wins, but fought close games with Fiji (12-24), and Samoa (31-37). Japan's defence no longer collapses easily. As captain Miuchi said, the team is getting stronger for sure. The strength is not solid yet as we lose in neck-and-neck games. Through this Cup, however, we felt that Japan “can do better” with New Zealand and Australia, and “can win a match” against Samoa, Fiji and Tonga. In this particular match, Japan scored a try twice from a lineout maul near the goal, and showed a means of scoring. They will be able to play a match for which they can say “this is Japanese rugby” with pride, once they polish up the physical strength each player has gained into sophisticated team play. I lay my hopes in head coach Kirwan's skills and the XV's efforts.