Scotland come back to defeat Japan

Date published: June 18 2016

Scotland came from behind to defeat Japan 26-13 at Toyota Stadium in Tokyo on Saturday.

It was a game of two halves as the first half showed some great running rugby opposed to a more placid second half. The Japanese looked dominant in the first quarter of the game as they scored a great running try through Shota Horie. Greg Laidlaw's boot however kept his side in contention.

Scotland dominated the possession as the visitors had a whopping 64 percent, while Japan also missed 17 tackles to Scotland's eight.  

Japan's discipline really let them down as they coneded 11 penalties in the first half alone and two yellow cards, coming three minutes apart as Hendrik Tui and Rikiya Matsuda were sent to the bin, reducing the hosts to 13 men and killing the momentum Japan were building in the first half. 

The first points came from Scotland captain Laidlaw who knocked over a penalty after Japan were penalised using hands at the breakdown.

Horie then scored a fantastic try after Amanaki Mafi broke the line and somehow got round Duncan Taylor who passed to his the captain to dot it down.

Laidlaw however kept his team in the game but after half an hour Japan were ahead 10-9.

From a Scottish rolling maul, Matsuda in a last gasp attempt tried to stop the play with a deliberate knockdown, which led to Scotland receiving a penalty try and Matsuda being sent to the bin for ten minutes. Laidlaw made no mistake in converting the try. Scotland went into the second half leading 16-10 as a result.

Japan were simply unable to defend with only 13 players on the field as Nel then crashed over for the five-pointer from close range.

The final score did not reflect some great running rugby from both teams in the second half, with only Nel's try and Laidlaw's penalty to show for it.

The scorers:

For Scotland:
Tries: Penalty Try, Nel
Cons: Laidlaw 2
Pens: Laidlaw 4

For Japan:
Try: Horie
Con: Tamura
Pens: Tamara 2
Yellow Cards: Matsuda, Tui

Japan: 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Mifiposeti Paea, 13 Tim Bennetts, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 Yasutaka Sasakura, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Kaito Shigeno, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Shokei Kin, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Naohiro Kotaki, 4 Hitoshi Ono, 3 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 19 Kotaro Yatabe, 20 Hiroki Yamamoto, 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Kosei Ono, 23 Rikiya Matsuda

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Damien Hoyland, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 John Hardie, 6 John Barclay, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Alasdair Dickinson
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 Moray Low, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 David Denton, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Sean Maitland

Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Marius Mitrea (Italy), Brendan Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)