Test Match Report 1930-2019
日本語 Photo Journal
25 May 2013; G: Nippatsu Mitsuzawa; R: Angus Gardner (AUS)
●Japan 17-27 Tonga○
25/5/2013, 8th Pacific Nations Cup 1st Match
Japan 17 Tonga 27
Nippatsu Mitsuzawa Stadium
Half-time 5 - 22
Refree: Angus Gardner (Australia)
JAPAN: 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Yoshikazu Fujita, 13 Male Sau, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 Hirotoki Onozawa (23 Kenki Fukuoka 60), 10 Kosei Ono (22 Yu Tamura 49), 9 Atsushi Hiwasa, 8 Takashi Kikutani (capt), 7 Michael Broadhurst, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Shinya Makabe (19 Shoji Ito 40), 4 Hitoshi Ono, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita (18 Kensuke Hatakeyama 60), 2 Takeshi Kizu (16 Yusuke Aoki 60), 1 Masataka Mikami.
Reserves: 17 Takuma Asahara, 20 Ryuta Yasui, 21 Keisuke Uchida.
Coach: Eddie Jones.
Tries: Kizu, Sau, Tui ; Conversions: Goromaru.
TONGA: 15 David Halaifonua, 14 Fetu'u Vainkolo, 13 Siale Piutau, 12 Sione Piukala, 11 William Helu, 10 Fangatapu Apikotoa (22 Kurt Morath 47), 9 Thomas Palu (21 Taniela Moa 49), 8 Paula Kaho (20 Viliami Fihaki 72), 7 Nili Latu (capt), 6 Hale T-Pole, 5 Tukulua Lokotui, 4 Joshua Afu (19 Samisone Masima 63), 3 Taione Vea, 2 Elvis Taione (16 Ilaisia Ma'asi 72), 1 Eddie Aholelei (17 Kamaliele Sakalia 72).
Reserves: 18 Peni Fakalelu, 23 Viliame Longi.
Coach: Mana Otai.
Tries: Vainkolo (2), Helu, Aholelei; Conversions: Apikotoa (2); Penalty Goals: Apikotoa.
Yellow Cards: Kaho (30, sin-bin).
Scoring sequence (Japan's score shown first): 5min-try Tonga, Fetu'u Vainkolo; conv. Fangatapu Apikotoa-0-7, 13min-try Tonga, Fetu'u Vainkolo; conv. Fangatapu Apikotoa-0-14, 21min-try Japan, Takeshi Kizu; conv. Ayumu Goromaru(missed)-5-14, 24min-pen Tonga, Fangatapu Apikotoa-5-17, 37min-try Tonga, William Helu; conv. Fangatapu Apikotoa(missed)-5-22, 42min- try Japan, Male Sau; conv. Ayumu Goromaru-12-22, 45min-try Tonga, Eddie Aholelei; conv. Fangatapu Apikotoa(missed)-12-27, 62min-try Japan, Hendrik Tui; conv. Ayumu Goromaru (missed)-17-27.
In the 5th and 12th minutes, Tonga wing Fetuu Vainikolo scored a number of tries consecutively. Japan allowed the opponent to outscore in the beginning of the match when they were trying to be careful. “Even when you understand with your head, it is sometimes difficult to actually experience.” The person who talked about how difficult it was to manage the level gap between the Asian Five Nations and the Pacific Nations was captain Toshiaki Hirose, who watched the match from the stand on the day. Yet, as time passed, Japan became able to manage Tonga's physical play and spent more time attacking. In the 22nd minute, Japan pushed in a maul firmly from a lineout deep inside the opponent's territory and hooker Takeshi Kizu scored a try. Just before this, Japan stopped Tonga's goals consecutively, however, the grounding failed, and the number of Japan's tries in the first half was just one after all. On the other hand, just before the first half ended, Japan's defense was disrupted by Tonga's attack with a kick and Japan conceded the third try. The first half ended with Tonga's 17 point lead (5-22).
Just after the second half started, Japan narrowed Tonga's lead to 12 points with 2 tries and 2 goals to create a come-from-behind possibility. Japan started counter-attacking, however, Tonga easily scored a try from a kick-off just after this. Japan was not able to ride the waves completely. After all, in the 22nd minute, starting a scrum in front of the opponent's goal, flanker Hendrik Tui jumped in, and it was the only try Japan scored after that. Japan had several chances such an opportunity in the 18th minute of the second half, where wing Kenki Fukuoka, who replaced Onozawa, got a big gain with his “lightening run”(head coach Jones) and had a one-to-one fight against the opposing full-back, or a scrum deep inside the opponent's territory, however, they didn't make it. The final score was 17-27. Japan started the Pacific Nations Cup with a lost match eight years in a row, including the “Pacific Five Nations Cup” in 2006.
Head coach Jones and the game captain Kikutani said, to account for their inability to score tries: “We struggled against breakdowns all through the game. We were not able to take the ball out quickly. We were slowed down and gave time for their defense to reset. We used too many players for breakdowns, which made it difficult for us to maintain the attacking shape. We were stuck in this bad cycle.”(head coach Jones)