Sunday, August 21, 2011

Japan 20-14 USA

Two teams looking to achieve their best ever results in a Rugby World Cup went head-to-head in Tokyo on Sunday evening as Japan hosted the United States of America in the final warm-up match for both teams before the 2011 tournament starts in New Zealand on September 09. Japan´s 22-14 victory, at the home of Japanese rugby, the Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground, follows up a narrow away loss vs Italy and puts the Asian side in good shape as it is targetting wins over Canada and Tonga to automatically qualify for Rugby World Cup 2015 which will be hosted by England. The Japanese victory was a two tries to one performance with Taihei Ueda, Takashi Kikutani and Takehisa Usuzuki scoring for the home side and fullback Shawn Webb slotting one conversion. USA winger, Kevin Swiryn ran in two tries for the North Americans which were both converted by flyhalf Nese Malifa. Japanese inside centre, Ryan Nicholas, also contributed to the scoring as he slotted a penalty goal in the first half.

Despite fielding a weakened side which featured no Todd Clever, Taku Ngwenya or Chris Wyles, the USA gave Japan a good match and went into halftime with a 14-8 lead. The USA Eagles were unable to score any further points after the interval as the game looked like going down to the wire. Japan´s second try of the secondhalf came in the 67th minute which put the Japanese in front with time running out. The USA fought hard and were making progress towards the try line as Japan had to defend well in the final stages of the match as the USA were hot on attack in the Japanese 22.

Japan opens its Rugby World Cup campaign with a match against France on Saturday September 10 in North Harbour while the United States of America will take on Ireland in New Plymouth on September 11 in what is to be the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Japan is in Pool A with Canada, France, New Zealand and Tonga while the USA is in Pool C with Australia, Ireland, Italy and Russia.


15 Taihei Ueda (Honda Heat)
14 Takehisa Usuzuki (Toshiba Brave Lupus)
13 Alisi Tupuailai (Canon Eagles)
12 Ryan Nicholas (Suntory Sungoliath)
11 Hirotoki Onozawa (Suntory Sungoliath)
10 Murray Williams (Toyota Industries Shuttles)
9 Tomoki Yoshida (Toshiba Brave Lupus)
8 Takashi Kikutani (Toyota Verblitz)
7 Tadasuke Nishihara (Panasonic Wild Knights)
6 Sione Vatuvei (Panasonic Wild Knights)
5 Luke Thompson (Kintetsu Liners)
4 Hitoshi Ono (Toshiba Brave Lupus)
3 Nozomu Fujita (Honda Heat)
2 Yusuke Aoki (Suntory Sungoliath)
1 Naoki Kawamata (Panasonic Wild Knights)


16 Shota Horie (Panasonic Wild Knights)
17 Kensuke Hatakeyama (Suntory Sungoliath)
18 Toshizumi Kitagawa (Toyota Verblitz)
19 Itaru Tanguchi (Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers)
20 Atsushi Hiwasa (Suntory Sungoliath)
21 Koji Taira (Suntory Sungoliath)
22 Shaun Webb (Coca-Cola West Red Sparks)

United States of America

15 Blaine Scully (Unattached)
14 Kevin Swiryn (Agen, France)
13 Tai Enosa (Belmont Shore)
12 Paul Emerick (Life University)
11 James Paterson (Otago Highlanders, New Zealand)
10 Nese Malifa (Glendale)
9 Mike Petri (New York Athletic Club)
8 JJ Gagiano (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
7 Lou Stanfill (Mogliano, Italy)
6 Patrick Danahy (Life University)
5 Hayden Smith (Saracens, England)
4 Scott LaValla (Stade Français, France)
3 Eric Fry (Las Vegas Blackjacks)
2 Phillip Thiel (Life University)
1 Mike MacDonald (Leeds Carnegie, England)


16 Chris Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate)
17 Shawn Pittman (London Welsh, England)
18 Nic Johnson (Unattached)
19 Ryan Chapman (Utah Warriors)
20 Tim Usasz (Nottingham, England)
21 Roland Suniula (Boston Rugby)
22 Andrew Suniula (Cornish Pirates, England)

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