VIDEO: Japan 'out of their league'

Sat, 04 Nov 2017 13:26

WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS: Japan captain Michael Leitch admitted his team was out of their depth in their 30-63 loss to Australia in Yokohama on Saturday.

Injury-hit Australia kicked off their northern hemisphere tour in impressive style against the 2019 World Cup hosts, Japan.

The Wallabies ran in nine tries in a lopsided encounter - as they followed up wins against world champions New Zealand and the Barbarians with a clinical display against the 2019 World Cup hosts.

Tevita Kuridrani muscled over for a hat-trick of tries and Samu Kerevi added two more, with Australia utility back Reece Hodge a perfect nine from nine with the boot.

The Japan captain, Leitch, pulled no punches in summing up the match.

"We were up against one of the top four teams in the world and we felt the difference between our level and theirs," he said.

"Discipline in that first 20 minutes hurt us and we have to improve in a lot of areas before the World Cup."

Hodge was calmness personified, with regular flyhalf Bernard Foley out sick, and made several pinpoint passes that led to tries.

"Between the last game and this game we lost five or six players, but our mindset and attitude were very good from the start," said Wallaby coach Michael Cheika, whose side take on Wales in Cardiff next weekend.

"We dropped off a bit toward the end but Japan played very well. It was a fantastic atmosphere and a great place to play rugby."

Japan, who were destroyed 91-3 by Australia the last time they met at the 2007 World Cup, has struggled since winning three games at the 2015 tournament under Eddie Jones.

"It was a really disappointing start to the game," said Japan coach Jamie Joseph.

"We gave penalties away in the first half and couldn't really get our game going.

"But in the second half, we showed what we can do when we create some pressure on the opposition and play our type of rugby."

Wallaby captain Michael Hooper was, obviously, very happy with his team.

"We were really happy with probably about 60 minutes of our game," said Hooper.

"Japan's players fought hard and were really strong in the breakdown.

"They turned us over too many times and put 30 points on us - we've got to be better than that.

"But it was a great experience playing here," he added.

"The fans were loud and you can feel how big it's going to be here for the World Cup."