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
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Preview
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Pumas vs Western Province15:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , September 21
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Connacht 10 - 9 LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Brive 13 - 53 ToulonBrive vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Exeter310
4Leicester Tigers39
5Harlequins38