Wales squeeze past Japan
Sat, 08 Jun 2013 07:31
Japan's 12th straight defeat to Wales
A second-string Wales team twice came from behind to beat Asian champions Japan 22-18 in the opener of their two-Test series on Saturday.
It was Japan's 12th straight defeat to Wales, including three losses in World Cup matches, since their first encounter in 1973.
Fullback Ayumu Goromaru gave Japan a 6-0 lead with two penalties but Welsh flyhalf Dan Biggar pulled two penalties back, one with a long shot from near the centre line, to level at 6-6.
Fullback Liam Williams saved a try, but the Japanese threatened the Welsh side several times and finally scored to take a 11-6 lead again shortly before the break.
Japan won a line-out close to the Welsh goal line, allowing flank Michael Broadhurst to touch down near the right corner in the 38th minute, too far out for Goromaru to convert.
Goromaru missed two penalty shots while Biggar scored one penalty to trail Japan 9-11 at the beginning of the second half.
Wales encamped in the Japanese half for most of the second half, playing close to the Japanese tryline and took the lead for the first time when Biggar added another penalty in the 59th minute.
The visitors stretched their lead when right wing Harry Robinson completed a fluent passing play to score a converted try on the right field in the 63rd minute.
wing Yoshikazu Fujita kept Japanese hopes alive with a try in the 69th minute and Goromaru capitalised to close the gap to 18-19.
But a Japanese high tackle gave Wales another penalty chance, which substitute Rhys Patchell cashed in on in the 78th minute to complete the scoring.
The two teams will play each other again next week at the Prince Chichibu stadium in Tokyo.
Tries: Broadhurst, Fujita
Pens: Goromaru 2
Pens: Biggar 4, Patchell
Japan: 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Yoshikazu Fujita, 13 Male Sau, 12 Craig Wing, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Harumichi Tatekawa, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Takashi Kikutani (captain), 7 Michael Broadhurst, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Shoji Ito, 4 Hitoshi Ono, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Masataka Mikami.
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Yusuke Nagae, 18 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 19 Toshizumi Kitagawa, 20 Ryuta Yasui, 21 Atsushi Hiwasa, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Hirotoki Onozawa
Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Harry Robinson, 13 Owen Williams, 12 Jonathan Spratt, 11 Dafydd Howells, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Ryan Bevington, 7 Emyr Phillips, 6 Scott Andrews, 5 Bradley Davies (captain), 4 Lou Reed, 3 Andrew Coombs, 2 James King, 1 Rob McCusker.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Andries Pretorius, 20 Dan Baker, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Tom Prydie.
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Greg Garner (England), TBC (Japan)
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