Japan run 100 points past Kazakhstan
May 15, 2010
Japan centre Koji Taira breaks clear © Getty Images
Japan racked up a century of points against Kazakhstan in Tokyo on Saturday to move to within touching distance of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
The Brave Blossoms' 101-7 triumph means that they require only one point from their remaining Asian Five Nations game against Hong Kong next weekend to book their place at the finals.
Coach John Kirwan has lambasted his players for slow starts in their big wins over the Arabian Gulf and Korea but he could not accuse them of that on this occasion as tries from Shota Horie, Sione Vatuvei, Goshi Tachikawa and Koji Taira wrapped up the bonus point after only 17 minutes at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground.
Hooker Mihail Soloviyev crossed for Kazakhstan's only try after 20 minutes but skipper Hitoshi Ono scored before the break to extend Japan's advantage, with Soloviyev also seeing yellow for a deliberate offside.
Tachikawa notched his second just over 40 seconds after the restart and Luke Thompson was soon adding the finishing touches to another score as the visitors paid dearly for their man disadvantage. Vatuvei also bagged his brace soon after and fly-half Shaun Webb added a try to his conversions from the restart.
Yasunori Nagatomo scored a quick-fire double either side of a second for Taira and Alisi Tupuailei got in on the act before the end, along with replacement scrum-half Koji Wada, to bring up the century.
In the round's other game, the Arabian Gulf bowed out on a high with a 21-19 win over Korea at the Sevens in Dubai. The Arabian Gulf Rugby Union will now disband, having joined the IRB in 1990.
The home side trailed 14-6 at the break after Korea struck for tries through Park Wan Yong and Han Kun Kyu but fly-half Duncan Murray and centre Tren Eastgate bit back after the restart. James Love slotted three penalties to move the Arabian Gulf clear and despite a late try to Chae Jae Yong they were able to hang on for victory and leave Korea in the relegation zone.
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14
With just two rounds left in the regular season, we look at the prospects of the teams taking part in the Championship play-offs
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker
It is 100 years this week since the last international match played in Europe before the outbreak of World War One. Rewind remembers the fixture's longest-living survivor