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Gary Carr/INPHO Ireland had enough to see off Japan.
# Victory
'Shizuoka was a bit of a motivation for us' - Ryan's delight at Ireland win
Josh van der Flier was named man of the match in Dublin.

IRELAND CAPTAIN JAMES Ryan says Ireland’s defeat to Japan in Shizuoka at the 2019 World Cup provided motivation ahead of their 39-31 win over the Brave Blossoms in Dublin in today’s July Test.

Andy Farrell’s side struggled to deal with the Japan attack at times at the Aviva Stadium but produced five tries of their own and steadied the ship in the second half to claim victory.

The Ireland boss will pick out plenty of shortcomings in his team’s performance but Ryan and his team-mates were very happy to get over the line against the ambitious Japanese.

“That game in 2019 was one of the hardest games I have ever played,” Ryan told RTÉ.

“It’s such a fast, high-tempo game and we knew this would be seriously tough. That Shizuoka day was a bit of a motivation for us and I’m delighted we got the win in front of 3,000 fans, the first time we’ve had fans here in 18 months.”

The crowd in Dublin was treated to plenty of thrills as the lead changed hands in tit-for-tat fashion in the first half in particular.

Josh van der Flier was named man of the match for his superb try-scoring performance in the Irish back row.

“It was a very tough game,” said van der Flier. “Japan are a quality side and will put it to any team they will play. They put it to us today.

“We could have been better in the first half but we improved in the second half. We’ve done 12 days of work and it’s something to build on.

james-ryan Gary Carr / INPHO James Ryan captained Ireland. Gary Carr / INPHO / INPHO

“They’re a top-quality side and they deserved all the credit they got in the World Cup and we knew it would be a big challenge. They were very impressive and it took us until the second half to secure the win.

“We weren’t pleased with conceding a lot of points and bits of defence and attack could have been better.

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“It’s always nice to score a try but the hard work from others led to it, Jamison [Gibson-Park] made a nice break and they were on the back foot from there. We scored a few nice tries out there today.”

As for Ryan, he was able to put an adductor injury behind him by captaining Ireland to this victory and he hopes to be involved again next weekend when Farrell’s team face the US in Dublin.

“Look, I’ve been carrying a few niggles, credit to the physios who got me back for this,” said Ryan.

“I’m delighted to play and lead out my country, a huge honour. We’re delighted with the result and I’m looking forward to playing next week.”

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