Japan edge Georgia in Gloucester

Date published: September 5 2015

Japan ended their Rugby World Cup preparations with a morale-boosting 13-10 victory over Georgia in Gloucester on Saturday.

The Brave Blossoms were first on the board after their leading points scorer Ayumu Goromaru landed an early penalty which went in off the post.

But it was Georgia who took the lead in the 17th minute when winger Muraz Giorgadze touched down after collecting a well-placed kick. Merab Kvirikashvili slotted the conversion, giving Georgia a 7-3 lead. 

Shortly after, however, Georgia flanker Victor Kolelishvili was shown a yellow card for a high tackle.

Some good play from Japan saw them awarded another penalty, which was converted by Goromaru to reduce the deficit to just one point.

The score stayed 7-6 to Georgia at half-time, and neither team could crack the defence for most of the second period. 

A long-range penalty from Lasha Malaguradze late in the game looked to have secured victory for Georgia, but Japan weren't done yet, and they sealed the win in the dying moments of the game when Amanaki Mafi broke through the defence to make the decisive score.

Male Sau converted as it finished 13-10 to Japan, who will play their first match of the World Cup against South Africa on September 19.

The scorers: 

For Japan:
Try: Mafi 
Con: Sau
Pens: Goromaru 2

For Georgia:
Try: Giorgadze
Con: Kvirikashvili
Pen: Malaguradze

Georgia: 15 Merab Kvirikashvili, 14 Muraz Giorgadze, 13 Davit Kacharava, 12 Merab Sharikadze, 11 Giorgi Aptsiauri, 10 Lasha Malaguradze, 9 Vasil Lobzhanidze, 8 Mamuka Gorgodze (Cap) 7 Victor Kolelishvili, 6 Shalva Sutiashvili, 5 Konstantine Mikautadze, 4 Giorgi Nemsadze, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili
Replacements: 16 Shalva Mamukashvili, 17 Davit Kubriashvili, 18 Levan Chilachava, 19 Levan Datunashvili, 20 Giorgi Chkhaidze, 21 Giorgi Begadze, 22 Tamaz Mchedlidze, 23 Giorgi Pruidze

Japan: 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Yoshikazu Fujita, 13 Male Sa'u, 12 Craig Wing, 11 Hendrik Tui, 10 Harumichi Tatekawa, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Ryu Koliniasi Holani, 7 Michael Broadhurst, 6 Michael Leitch (c), 5 Hitoshi Ono, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Masataka Mikami.
Replacements: 16 Takayuki Watanabe, 17 Takeshi Kizu, 18 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 19 Shinya Makabe, 20 Amanaki Lelei Mafi, 21 Atsushi Hiwasa, 22 Kosei Ono, 23 Kotaro Matsushima.