Japan heading to England
Sun, 25 May 2014 11:47
Eddie Jone's Brave Blossoms have qualified for the 2015 rugby World Cup by thrashing Hong Kong 49-8 in Tokyo.
In doing so the Asian nation also claimed a seventh Asian Five Nations title with their 28th consecutive bonus point win.
Japan's victory means they continue a proud record of appearing in every World Cup to date and they will join South Africa, Samoa, Scotland and the United States in Pool B.
Hong Kong can still join them despite the loss after they finished second in the standings, providing they come through the four-team repechage.
They will face Uruguay in the semis and, if they win that, either Russia or an African team in the final for the last place in Pool A alongside the hosts, Wales, Australia and either Fiji or the Cook Islands.
However, they will need to sure up a porous defence if they are to have any chance of a first World Cup appearance with Japan's swift back play and powerful scrum and maul resulting in easy points in a lopsided win.
The four-try bonus point was bagged before halftime with impressive winger Yoshikazu Fujita grabbing two as the Brave Blossoms went in 27-3 up at the break.
Fujita completed his hat-trick in the second half of the eight try rout, the final game at the stadium before it is torn down to be replaced for a new facility for the 2019 World Cup which they will host.
Japan have won all 28 matches in the Asian Five Nations since its inception in 2008 but coach Jones, previously part of Jake White's World Cup winning coaching team in 2007, will be aiming to lead the 'Brave Blossoms' to a first win at a World Cup since 1991.
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