Skip to content
As it happened: Japan v Tonga

All the action from Whangarei as Tonga proved too strong for Japan in Pool A at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Image : Junji Kurokawa/AP/Press Association Images
1,381 Views 0 Comments

Next up, it’s the Pool A match between Tonga and Japan from the Okara Events Centre in Whangarei.

E-mail, tweet us @thescore_ie, or post to our Facebook wall.

Failing that, use the traditional route and leave a comment below.

Full-Time: Tonga 31-18 Japan

Tonga: Lilo; Vainikolo, Piutau, Fatafehi, Hufanga; Morath, Moa; Tonga’uiha, Lutui, Filise; Lokotui, Hehea; Kalamafoni, Vaiomounga, Ma’afu.

Japan: Webb; Endo, Tupuailei, Nicholas, Onozawa; Arlidge, Tanaka; Hirashima, Horie, Hatakeyama; Thompson, Kitagawa; Taniguchi, Leitch, Kikutani.

Tonga are jubilant as they finally cross the Japanese line. The referee has to consult the TV judge but the try is awarded. Vili Ma’afu is the scorer.

The TMO’s decision is pending on a Japanese try… It’s given! Seemed to us to be a double movement, but we don’t make the decisions. It’s Hatakeyama’s try.

Tonga go straight up the pitch and over! No doubt about this one as Lokotui crosses for his first international try. Kurt Morath converts.

A superb try for Japan from Michael Leitch, who had saved a Tongan try only minutes earlier.

“You can take as long as you like as long as you kick ‘em over!” Morath is successful with his first penalty of the game.

Japan fly-half James Arlidge is sent to the sin bin for stepping offside as Tonga pile on the pressure. Morath makes no mistake from the penalty. Big blow for Japan with Arlidge their key playmaker. Webb goes into the No.10 position.

Japan are already up to seven handling errors, which goes a long way to explaining their current predicament.

This all bodes well for an explosive second half. Tonga have made the most of Japan’s handling errors, while Japan have exposed the holes in Tonga’s defence.

Brilliant play from Onozawa to deny Tonga, who had broken brilliantly with Vainikolo.

No problem for Morath as he restores Tonga’s eight point advantage with another penalty.

A stunning try from Fetu’u Vainikolo, who has been exceptional in the second half. He takes a fine pass from Piutau before barging over. Morath converts superbly.

Tonga punish Japan for making too many mistakes, coming away with three tries. Kurt Morath was in fine form from dead ball situations, bagging 16 points in total. Japan did not disgrace themselves but some sloppy defensive play cost them in the finish. That’s all for this morning…

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member


    Back to top