Lemeki backs Japan to go all the way

Date published: August 10 2016

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Japan's Lomano Lemeki couldn't hide his delight after his team's shock 14-12 victory over New Zealand in their opening pool match at the Rio Olympics on Tuesday.

And despite suffering a narrow 21-19 defeat to Great Britain in their second match, Lemeki is backing his team to cause a few more upsets and win the competition's gold medal.

"It’s unbelievable," he said. 

"You never see a minnow come here and beat a team that’s supposed to be a gold medal contender. I’m still in shock to be honest!

"I think we can (go all the way), especially after we just showed that any team can win at Sevens, if we keep on working hard and playing like that.

“We had a game plan for New Zealand which was to keep the ball, if we got penalties to kick long, slow the ball down and play at our pace and they’ll get frustrated. 

"We saw New Zealand starting to struggle there so we thought that if we kept moving the ball around, the big guys would tire and eventually they did."

Asked if New Zealand took them “softly” Lemeki replied: “I think they might have … but I don’t think they’ll be doing that again!"  

With thanks to World Rugby

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