Sun sets on Japan with draw

Tue, 27 Sep 2011 00:00
Large 2501 0 0 0 2628653
Japan's hopes of breaking their 20-year World Cup winless streak were ruined as a last-minute penalty by Canada's flyhalf Ander Monro left the two sides drawn at 23-23 in their Pool A match.

Japan's hopes of breaking their 20-year World Cup winless streak were ruined as a last-minute penalty by Canada's flyhalf Ander Monro left the two sides drawn at 23-23 in their Pool A match.

It was the second successive World Cup that the two teams have registered a draw, Japan needing a last-gasp conversion to tie the scores at 12 points apiece at the 2007 tournament.

Monro, who had taken over kicking duties from injured fullback James Pritchard had had a shocker with the boot here, but showed enough steel to bang over a 79th minute penalty to draw the scores level after also crossing for a try he had failed to convert.

Tries from Shota Horie and Kosuke Endo allied with 13 points from the boot of James Arlidge had put Japan in the driving seat and seemingly ready to make up for previous Pool A losses to France (47-21), Tonga (31-18) and New Zealand (83-7).

But it was not to be as Japan's early tenacious defence, led magnificently by centre Ryan Nicholas, faded towards the end of a match that had an almost festival feel to it.

"Sort of a tough one," said Canada skipper Pat Riordan.

"We started well ... then they got a couple of penalties. But we put up a great fight at the end and got a couple of points.

"The job is done. We close the chapter and get on with the next one (against the All Blacks)

Japan coach John Kirwan commented: "Don't know whether to be happy or sad but the boys played their hearts out. Just a few errors in the seond half cost us."

The match opened at a frantic pace, DTH Van der Merwe chopped down just short of the line by arguably the tap tackle of the tournament so far from Japan fullback Shaun Webb.

Van der Merwe got a try soon after, however, bumping a tackle to go in under the posts for a five-pointer Pritchard converted.

But Japan came roaring back, hooker Horie driven over the tryline after Alisi Tupuailai's offload, Arlidge adding the extras to equal the scores.

Arlidge added a penalty in the 25th minute, but Monro's first effort came back off the post.

Japan then took command of the match, seeking to run everything and when Canada attacked to employ a ferocious offensive defence.

A flustered, leaden-footed Canada were particularly lax at the breakdown and suffered a number of turnovers because of the hard-hitting tackles, Nicholas and lock Luke Thompson to the fore for Japan.

John Kirwan's side bravely spurned a couple of kicks for goal in a bid for a try before the half-time hooter.

And they were rewarded when a well-worked wrap-around move between Arlidge and Nicholas in midfield saw Endo slicing through some feeble defence for a try Arlidge again converted to make it 17-7 at half-time.

Canada enjoyed the best possible start to the second period, Phil Mackenzie riding a terrible tackle by replacement Bryce Robins to sprint in from 35 metres. Monro missed the conversion to leave the score 17-12 to Japan.

When the Japanese defence strayed offside in the 64th minute, Monro kicked his first penalty to cut his team's deficit to two points.

Arlidge restored the five-point lead a minute later and the New Zealand-born flyhalf stretched the score to 23-15 with a 73rd minute penalty, meaning Canada had to score twice to regain the lead.

In a nail-biting finish, Monro then crashed over the line as the Japanese scramble defence was found wanting.

He missed the conversion but managed a trickier penalty with just 90 seconds to play to draw the teams level at 23-23, Arlidge's desperate drop-goal drifting short and wide.

Man of the Match: For Canada their centre DTH van der Merwe was at the heart of all that was good in the backline, while Toshizumi Kitagawa was excellent in the line-outs for Japan. The real star was Japan's inside centre Ryan Nicholas who broke the line on several occasions and was head and shoulders above anyone else on the field.

Moment of the Match: Canada flyhalf Ander Monro's poor day at the office was summed up when he missed a penalty from right in front of the posts and was easily brushed off in the tackle by Japan's Ryan Nicholas who made the No.10 look silly.

Villain of the Match: Canadian prop Jason Marshall for senselessly giving away three points by throwing the ball away.

Scorers

For Canada
Tries:
Van der Merwe, Mackenzie, Monro
Con: Monro
Pens: Monro 2

For Japan
Tries:
Horie, Endo
Cons: Arlidge 2
Pens: Arlidge 3

The teams:

Canada: 15 James Pritchard, 14 Matt Evans, 13 DTH van der Merwe, 12 Ryan Smith, 11 Phil Mackenzie, 10 Ander Monro, 9 Ed Fairhurst, 8 Aaron Carpenter, 7 Chauncey O'Toole, 6 Adam Kleeberger, 5 Jamie Cudmore, 4 Jebb Sinclair, 3 Jason Marshall, 2 Pat Riordan (captain), 1 Hubert Buydens
Replacements: 16 Ryan Hamilton, 17 Scott Franklin, 18 Tyler Hotson, 19 Jeremy Kyne, 20 Sean White, 21 Nathan Hirayama, 22 Conor Trainor

Japan: 15 Shaun Webb, 14 Kosuke Endo, 13 Alisi Tupuailai, 12 Ryan Nicholas, 11 Hirotoki Onozawa, 10 James Arlidge, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Takashi Kikutani (captain), 7 Michael Leitch, 6 Sione Talikavili Vatuvei, 5 Toshizumi Kitagawa, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Nozomu Fujita, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Hisateru Hirashima.
Replacements: 16 Yusuke Aoki, 17 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 18 Hitoshi Ono, 19 Toetuu Taufa, 20 Atsushi Hiwasa, 21 Murray Williams, 22 Bryce Robins.

AFP and rugby365.com

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
WORLD CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 17
Wales 4 3 0 1 13
England 4 2 0 2 11
Fiji 4 1 0 3 5
Uruguay 4 0 0 4 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa 4 3 0 1 16
Scotland 4 3 0 1 14
Japan 4 3 0 1 12
Samoa 4 1 0 3 6
United States 4 0 0 4 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 19
Argentina 4 3 0 1 15
Georgia 4 2 0 2 8
Tonga 4 1 0 3 6
Namibia 4 0 0 4 1
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 18
France 4 3 0 1 14
Italy 4 2 0 2 10
Romania 4 1 0 3 4
Canada 4 0 0 4 2
RELATED ARTICLES