Planet Rugby

Kirwan wants more from Japan

27th June 2011 09:10

Share:

john kirwan

Kirwan: Wants to improve attack

Japan coach John Kirwan has urged the World Cup-bound Brave Blossoms to sharpen up their attack for their Pacific Nations Cup opener against holders Samoa at home on Saturday.

The Asian champions overwhelmed a hastily-assembled selection from the domestic Top League 49-7 in Tokyo on Sunday in a charity game for the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

But the former All Blacks wing believes Japan need more offensive flair to improve on their previous Pacific Nations Cup results, which have left them bottom or next-to-last in the past five editions.

"If we think that today's going to be enough to win against Samoa then we're kidding ourselves," Kirwan told Japanese media after the match.

"Defensively we stuck to our patterns and got off the line and tackled well," said Kirwan, who has set Japan an ambitious goal of winning at least two matches at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand - they have only won once in six previous editions.

"Our accuracy wasn't always as we would have liked," he added.

"We lost our structure in attack a couple of times and if we had been a little more patient we could have scored a couple more tries. It's back to work tomorrow."

Japan captain Takashi Kikutani scored a hat-trick of tries with Shaun Webb, Ryu Koliniasi, Ryan Nicholas and Yuta Imamura also touching down. Yasunori Nagatomo pulled one back for their opponents with eight minutes to go.

The Top League XV, who had only two training sessions, put more physical pressure on the Brave Blossoms than any side in the recent Asian Five Nations, in which they won a fourth straight title.

"We're trying to play a different style of game with our halfbacks becoming a big part of our attack, and you started to see that today," Kirwan told Kyodo.

"We need to work really hard to get some results at the PNC.

"Samoa, Tonga, Fiji have all reinforced their sides with European players so it's going to be a very difficult tournament for us."

Former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones, who coached the Top League XV, said Kirwan's squad played a "very physical game" but that he was not sure whether it would work against "more physical teams such as Samoa and Fiji".

"Their defence organisation was pretty good but playing that style of rugby, you're going to struggle to score points," the Suntory Sungoliath boss told Kyodo.

The Pacific Nations Cup tournament was originally scheduled to be staged in Japan, but five of the six games have been moved to Fiji after the March quake-tsunami disaster which sparked a crisis at a Japanese nuclear power plant.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821