Pacific Challenge: Japan secures first WRPC win

The Japan side in celebration mode adfter winning the World Rugby Pacific Challenge 2020 after the final match against the Fiji Warriors at the ANZ Stdaium in Suva, Fiji, yesterday - March 14, 2020. Picture: ATU RASEA

The Junior Japan scrum made the difference as the new World Rugby Pacific Challenge champions secured the title beating the Swire Shipping Fiji Warriors 21-12 at the ANZ Stadium yesterday.

“We knew they had a good scrum, and we just needed more concentration around those set pieces,”said Warriors coach Kele Leawere.

“Our boys tried to work hard but the Japanese were too good in that aspect.”

Japan coach Yoshitake Mizuma said they were elated to win their first WRPC title.

“Really great to win, the boys did their part and did it well,” Mizuma said.

Outside centre Epeli Momo scored the Warriors’ only try of the first spell with halfback Simi Kuruvoli converting.

Junior Japan outside centre Junta Hamada scored Japan’s first try with open winger Yuichiro Wada adding the conversions and two penalties.

Warriors skipper Tuidraki Samusamuvodre added a try in the second half but Japan open-side flanker Takeshi Sasaki’s converted try made the difference as the Japan secured the WRPC for the first time.

The Japanese scrum demolished the Warriors pack milking more than 15 penalties through-out the entire game.

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