Planet Rugby

Japan held by gutsy Canada

27th September 2011 03:51

Share:

Japan v Canada - Shota Horie try

Over: Shota Horie

Japan were denied their first Rugby World Cup victory in 20 years as they were held 23 points apiece against Canada at McLean Park on Tuesday.

The game in Napier created the same sharing of the points that occurred in the 2007 tournament in what was an entertaining spectacle for the fans.

Japan led a scrappy contest 23-15 with just five minutes remaining, but could not hang on for its first tournament win since 1991 as Canada fly-half Ander Monro crossed for a try and then knocked over a levelling penalty soon after.

Hooker Shota Horie and wing Kosuke Endo scored first-half tries for Japan, who started well.

Canada's first two scores came from bleached blondes, centre DTH van der Merwe, who gave his team an early lead, and winger Phil MacKenzie, who ultimately got Canada back in the match.

Canada's chances were dealt a blow when full-back and kicker James Pritchard left the field at half-time, but Monro salvaged the draw.

The Canadians have six points and are in third place in Pool A from a draw and an opening win over Tonga, and now have a match remaining against New Zealand on Sunday.

Japan finished the tournament with two points from three losses and a draw.

Rivals on the sidelines in sunny conditions in front of 14,335 fans at McLean Park, Kirwan and Canada coach Keiran Crowley had both been members of the New Zealand squad which won the inaugural World Cup in 1987.

Crowley's team was dominant early. Van der Merwe was sent bursting through on a 40-yard run after a neat pass from midfield partner Ryan Smith, and only a brilliant ankle tap from Japan full-back Shaun Webb prevented a try under the posts.

Van der Merwe was not to be denied, however, and shook off a soft tackle for a converted try moments later in the seventh minute.

Canada's lead lasted two minutes as Japan won close-range scrum and Horie barreled over in the corner.

As the game started getting scrappy, Pritchard was felled by a huge hit going for a loose ball. He lay motionless for about a minute before being helped to his feet to go off for treatment as Conor Trainor came on as a blood replacement.

With Japan starting to get on top, fly-half James Arlidge slotted over an easy penalty to make it 10-7. Canada had a chance to level straight after and, with Pritchard off the field, Monro struck the left post with his penalty attempt.

Canada got repeatedly caught out by Japan's speedy breaks as the first half drew to a close. Moments before the interval, Japan wasted a scoring chance when unmarked Endo received a dreadful pass that went behind him. But the big winger was set-up under the posts for a converted try moments later to give Japan a 10-point lead.

With Pritchard out of the game, Crowley's team got a boost when MacKenzie drifted past three poor tackles for his second try of the tournament.

Monro missed the conversion but landed a penalty before Arlidge booted Japan to a 23-15 lead with two coolly struck kicks.

Kirwan, meanwhile, set a Rugby World Cup record by being involved in his 23rd match as a coach or player. Kirwan played 11 matches for the All Blacks and the Canada match was his 12th as a head coach. Jason Leonard played 22 matches for England.

Man of the match: He was a threat all day with ball in-hand and fully deserves this award. Well done outside centre DTH van der Merwe. Mentions too for Japan centre Ryan Nicholas and blindside Sione Vatuvei, who were both deadly in attach and defence all day.

Moment of the match: With four minutes to go, Ander Morno needed to convert his own try to set up what would have been a one-point deficit for his side to claw back. As it was, he pushed his kick wide and his penalty shot a few minutes later could only draw his side level.

Villain of the match: No dirty play to speak of.

The scorers:

For Canada:
Tries: Van der Merwe, Mackenzie, Monro
Con: Pritchard
Pen: Monro 2

For Japan:
Tries: Horie, Endo
Con: Arlidge 2
Pen: Arlidge 2

Canada: 15 James Pritchard, 14 Matt Evans, 13 DTH van der Merwe, 12 Ryan Smith, 11 Phil Mackenzie, 10 Ander Monro, 9 Ed Fairhurst, 8 Aaron Carpenter, 7 Chauncey O'Toole, 6 Adam Kleeberger, 5 Jamie Cudmore, 4 Jebb Sinclair, 3 Jason Marshall, 2 Pat Riordan (c), 1 Hubert Buydens.
Replacements: 16 Ryan Hamilton, 17 Scott Franklin, 18 Tyler Hotson, 19 Jeremy Kyne, 20 Sean White, 21 Nathan Hirayama, 22 Conor Trainor.

Japan: 15 Shaun Webb, 14 Kosuke Endo, 13 Alisi Tupuailai, 12 Ryan Nicholas, 11 Hirotoki Onozawa, 10 James Arlidge, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Takashi Kikutani (c), 7 Michael Leitch, 6 Sione Talikavili Vatuvei, 5 Toshizumi Kitagawa, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Nozomu Fujita, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Hisateru Hirashima.
Replacements: 16 Yusuke Aoki, 17 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 18 Hitoshi Ono, 19 Toetuu Taufa, 20 Atsushi Hiwasa, 21 Murray Williams, 22 Bryce Robins.

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (RSA)
Assistant referees: Bryce Lawrence (NZL), Matt Goddard (AUS)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs ToulonUlster vs Toulon Preview
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Bath vs ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Preview
Montpellier vs GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Preview
Northampton vs OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs ConnachtExeter vs Connacht Preview
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs LionsWestern Province vs Lions Preview
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki vs TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615