It may be a new Japan team but the result was
just the same as the Brave Blossoms wrapped up the 2012 HSBC Asian
Five Nations (HSBC A5N) Top 5 with an emphatic 67-0 win over Hong
In Saturday’s other HSBC A5N Top 5 match,
promoted Division I champions Korea dismantled Kazakhstan 87-17 in
Almaty to grasp second place on the Series table with one week
Japan’s victory – their 20th straight
bonus-point win in the competition – ensured Japan won the title
for the fifth straight year. And they did so playing a brand of
rugby that coach Eddie Jones believes could get them into the
world’s top 10.
“That was our best performance of the HSBC
Asian Five Nations,” said Eddie Jones. “We had the game won by
halftime. We played with a fair bit of discipline and control and
I’m really pleased with the growth of the team.”
Hong Kong was
overwhelmed by the pace and power of Japan who dominated the
breakdown area to run in 11 unanswered tries in a slick display in
front of heir home fans at Prince Chichibu Stadium.
Kong had hoped to silence the crowd by using their big front five
to deny the Japanese any possession, but from the opening
exchanges it was evident that Japan were too strong up front and
too quick in the backs for an upset to occur.
Hirotoki Onozawa led the try-spree with a brace of tries either
side of halftime as Japan cruised to a straightforward victory
against a Hong Kong team who had hoped they could repeat their
performance from last year when they ran the Asian champions close
in a 45-22 loss.
Onozawa scored the 50th test try of his
career when he smartly stepped outside Hong Kong fullback Ross
Armour to touch down for Japan’s fifth try of the first half as
Hong Kong struggled to shut down the relentless Japanese attack.
Hong Kong was forced into making 130 tackles in the match as a
rampant Japan pressed forward. It wasn’t long before the constant
attacks resulted in holes appearing in defence.
expect to keep tackling throughout the game, something had to give
and it did,” said Hong Kong senior coach Leigh Jones. “I thought
we did well in the first half defensively, but what was
disappointing was that we couldn’t get our own game going. Trying
to combat Japan’s power, pace and physicality is very difficult.”
Yu Tamura opened the scoring today in
just the fifth minute and further tries by Takamichi Sasaki, Kosei
Ono, Toshiaki Hirose and Onozawa saw Japan lead 29-0 at the break.
Onozawa increased the lead two minutes into the second half, a
landmark try for the 34-year old as it moved him past Rory Underwood into fourth spot on the list of all-time test-match try
“He deserves all the plaudits he is currently
getting,” said Hong Kong coach Leigh Jones. “Given how the game
has evolved over the last 10 years, for him to still have the pace
Onozawa was followed onto the scoresheet in
the second half by Michael Leitch, Shoji Ito, Ayumu Goromaru,
Kensuke Hatakeyama and Ryuhei Arita, with Goromaru finishing the
day with six conversions. Goromaru has built an unassailable lead
in the points scoring stakes in this year’s HSBC A5N Top 5 with 87
points from four matches (five tries, 31 conversions).
learning how to manipulate defenses and take teams into one area
and then attack where they are not,” explained Japan coach Eddie
Jones. That ability resulted in a number of try scorers going over
unopposed this afternoon as Japan simply stretched the Hong Kong defence to breaking point.
“This new style of Japanese rugby is
very effective. The challenge for us is to get bigger, fitter and
stronger for next season so that we can match Japan in the
collision area,” added Leigh Jones.
But first Hong Kong will
have to make certain that they end their HSBC Asian 5 Nations
campaign on a winning note when they take on Kazakhstan in their
final game at home next Saturday. A win at home versus the Nomads
will see Kazakhstan drop down to the first division for the first
time in tournament history, ensuring that Hong Kong will join
Japan as the only team in the history of the HSBC Asian 5 Nations
to have never been relegated from the Top 5.
curtain-raiser to Saturday’s match, the Japan women’s XV dispatched
their Hong Kong counterparts 61-15. Japan winger Chikami Inoue
scored four tries in today’s match, with flanker Chisato Yoko and
reserve winger Keiko Kato both adding a brace. Other Japan try
scorers were winger Tomoe Shinomiya, hooker and captain Misaki
Suzuki and reserve Chiharu Nakamura. Flyhalf Rinako Yokoyama added
three conversions. Hong Kong’s tries came through lock Samantha
Scott, winger Natasha Olson-Thorne and centre Cheng Tsz Ting.
In the other HSBC A5N Top 5 match in Almaty, Korea dispatched
Kazakhstan 87-17. Korea started the scoring early with the first
try in just the second minute through centre Kim Nam Wook, who
scored a brace today, as did winger Kim Gwong Min.
flyhalf Oh Young Hyung accounted for 27 points with a try, two
penalties and 8 conversions, while burly No 8 Han Kun Kyu scored a
hat-trick. Other tries came from scrumhalf Yang Young Hun, lock
Park Soon Chai, hooker Hwang Min Seo, winger Cho In Soo and
reserve back Jegal Bin. Kazakhstan’s points came through tries
from Nikita Trifimov, Alexandr Zhakharov and Yevgeniy Shekurov.
Captain Ildar Abdrazhakov added a conversion.
see Hong Kong fall to third place in the Series table on 7 points,
while Korea resume their traditional second in Asia standing on 11
points from two wins and one loss. On the bye this weekend, UAE
remains in fourth on six points, while Kazakhstan will have a do
or die battle in Hong Kong next week with a win and a UAE loss
without bonus point crucial to its hopes of staying in the HSBC
A5N Top 5 in 2013.
Hong Kong host Kazakhstan next week, while UAE
travels to Seoul.
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