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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Japan climb in world rankings after narrow win over Tonga

Japan climb in world rankings after narrow win over Tonga

Japan upset Tonga on the weekend as they earned a hard fought 28-27 win in the IRB Pacific Nations Cup in Suva, Fiji. The win sees them climb two places in the IRB Rankings, up to thirteenth.

John Kirwans team will meet Tonga in Pool A of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, so a win over them in Suva will have given them a nice boost in confidence. Theyve also thrown the PNC wide open, as did Fiji with their win over Samoa, which means that all four sides go into Wednesdays match with a win apiece.

The match itself was fairly scrappy at times, with somewhat of a forward battle taking place and a few of the tries being ground out, rather than coming from fluid play. Japan worked hard on defence though, and did well to hold out a tired looking Tongan side in the last ten minutes.

"Tonga is the most improved side in the tournament so far and got a good win against Fiji last week," said Japan coach John Kirwan.

"We knew that this was a big game for us. I am really happy with the courage our boys showed. The Japanese style of rugby is running around. I am very pleased what the players showed."

Despite the loss, Tonga still lead the tournament on six points going into the final round of fixtures. The other three teams are on five, so all three teams have a chance of winning it. Tonga face Samoa, while Fiji play Japan.


Time: 05:11

Posted at 11:20 am | 36 comments

Viewing 36 comments

Anonymous July 12, 2011 10:26 am

firrrst! go japan, the better such a populous country becomes, the better for the sport of rugby.

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Anonymous July 12, 2011 10:30 am

The mighty southern hemisphere strikes again!!!

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Chris July 12, 2011 10:44 am

Anon above, you do realize that Japan is in the Northern Hemisphere...

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Ruggaworld July 12, 2011 10:51 am

Lol @ ano

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Anonymous July 12, 2011 10:57 am

Chris is technically correct, but I think when people talk about 'north hemisphere' when it comes to rugby they are referring to European rugby.

The phrases 'northern hemisphere rugby' and 'southern hemisphere rugby' have less to do with geography and more to do with where players come from, style of play, and so on.

In the Cold War, the Soviet Union viewed the United States as part of 'the West' (even though the USA is obviously much closer to Russia's east than it is to its west). Once again, 'the West' isn't a geographic term.

Unfortunately, we don't have words specific enough to account for all the nuance and complexity of the real rugby world so we divide things with our limited vocabulary into rough geographic camps.

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Anonymous July 12, 2011 11:09 am

wow. Japan are just Japan.
I guess they have alot of Southern Hemisphere influence, particularly from Aus and NZ, but Tonga is actually in the SH and most of their players learned their rugby in NZ or Aus.
So let's just congratulate a Japanese team that has improved massivley in the last 10 years.

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Anonymous July 12, 2011 11:15 am

Why not saying "european" and "pacific" instead of NH-SH ? It's more precise and avoids confusion

Japan is a pacific ocean country from and yet in the northern hemisphere.

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Anonymous July 12, 2011 11:43 am

What about Argentina? Shall we call them West/Southies? Or perhaps Atlanticers? Japan's Japan. Tonga's Tonga. Aint all that hard to give props to the players and country and not to a quarter of the globe.

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ConnachtFan July 12, 2011 11:46 am

Its a pity Japan are not hosting World Cup, politics and money dictated otherwise...

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Flinto July 12, 2011 11:52 am

Why the need to label them at all? How pathetic are things getting when you're desperately trying to claim winning teams as your own? Come on, get a grip people!

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Flinto July 12, 2011 11:53 am

Oh and, congratulations to Japan, and thanks to Rugbydump for the highlights.

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Anonymous July 12, 2011 12:08 pm

I'd like to see teams like these produce an upset at RWC. Tonga so close against SA in 2007, hopefully another minnow can go further and upset a big gun

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Darren July 12, 2011 2:20 pm

Why not shut the fuck up about NH and SH and stick to national pride. New Zealand are the shit, South Africa are tough as nails, Oz have got an exciting team and look to be coming good at the right time as usual, the home nations all have their own characteristics, Japan plays good looking rugby, Tonga actually look good this year too, saw them beat French Barbarians, no easy feat etc etc.

This hemisphere shit makes one sound like a 12 year old.

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Anonymous July 12, 2011 2:51 pm

What's even worse than the SH/NH discussion on here is the quality of the commentator. Anyways... nice to see Japan win. Congrats.

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Darren July 12, 2011 3:35 pm

Regarding upsets, Samoa always seem to push hard, Argentina on their day are hard to beat, I definately see Ireland pushing OZ or Bokkes close. If I were to chose, my heart is going with Ireland to beat the Bokkes, but my head says either Fiji or Samoa will give it to Wales. Hope Caucau gets a final run, anyone know was he selected??

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Threma July 12, 2011 4:40 pm

@ConnachtFan: Japan will actually host the next one...

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Anonymous July 12, 2011 5:00 pm

Congratulations Japan...
But the number of "real" japanese is quite low...
Is any rules to regulate it ?

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Rowan DeBues July 12, 2011 5:05 pm

No, Japan have 2019. The next world cup is England 2015 after NZ.
That said, your point is still effective. Japan didn't get 2011 but they get 2019 instead. Give them another 8 years to improve and they might squeak into the quarter finals in front of a home crowd! So the delay isn't necessarily a bad thing for Japan

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Anonymous July 12, 2011 5:54 pm

Actually guys i was commenting on how the mighty south (i.e Tonga) destroyed the weak and inferior North (i.e Japan)

It was a case of being a trolling twat but unfortunately you imbeciles failed to take the bait!

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Anonymous July 12, 2011 5:58 pm

p.s Im aware that Tonga did not win the match, it was merely a "oooo look at how dominant the SH are in this game" kind of comment.....

But as i said before well done for all missing the point completely!

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Matthew July 12, 2011 7:10 pm

Did Tiny (Soane Tonga'uiha) play for Tonga in this game?

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Darren July 12, 2011 8:09 pm

"Actually guys i was commenting on how the mighty south (i.e Tonga) destroyed the weak and inferior North (i.e Japan)" - But they clearly didn't, so instead of pointing this out, you were ignored. You don't point out to a retard that he's drooling do you?

"It was a case of being a trolling twat but unfortunately you imbeciles failed to take the bait!" - A twat you are, and how exactly are we imbeciles if we didn't take the bait.

You can't fix stupid..!

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bojangles July 12, 2011 8:31 pm

"But as i said before well done for all missing the point completely!"

And well done to you, too, for suffering from lack of social interaction to the point that you get your amusement by going online to be a "trolling twat".

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Anonymous July 12, 2011 9:44 pm

So Darren it would appear you're unfixable...

and as for you bojangles, because my type of amusement has been labelled trolling does not mean that i am in any way socially inept.... in fact, being able to have a conversation like this with you AND have the old troll comment gives me a wider range on the old spectrum thus, I am far more socially credible than you....

(:

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Anonymous July 12, 2011 11:09 pm

You are a sad little man, I garuntee you do not have a wife or girlfriend.

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Im'a Monster! July 13, 2011 1:53 am

LMFAO at NH fans always trying to claim a victory over the SH at any chance they get. Pathetic, but quite funny!

Trying so hard to impress and compete with the SH.

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Anonymous July 13, 2011 2:28 am

Congrats Japan! Always keen to see the underdogs put on a good performance.

The Asian players do look smaller in general don't they? John Kirwan seem to imply that they focus on speed to outpace the opponents. Does anyone happen to know what other strategies they use to compete with bigger blokes?

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Anonymous July 13, 2011 2:54 am

On the NH vs SH issue, I would like to introduce a new one...the EZ (Equatorial Zone). This will be all countries within the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn Lines. Anybody on board with this?! Perhaps we can also further divide this into Polar Regions too. Let's add SP and NP as well!!! Now what should we call Canada...

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Anonymous July 13, 2011 3:31 am

They recruit foreigners for their second row and back row to increase bulk, they've got a number of kiwis and Islanders in their national team.
But primarily they focus on playing fast, passing rugby, and using their backline to run around rather than over the top of other teams that are bigger.
And they aren't really underdogs that much any more.
They are only a little behind Tonga, Samoa and Fiji in terms of ability, and can overturn any of these teams on their day.
They have risen above teams like USA, Canada and Russia, into the next tier, with teams like the Islanders and maybe Georgia.

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Anonymous July 13, 2011 10:31 am

'You are a sad little man, I garuntee you do not have a wife or girlfriend.'

...well i 'guarantee' i do have a girlfriend....

nice spelling genius....

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Anonymous July 13, 2011 10:33 am

I love the way people comment on japan having imports and italy etc etc.... take a look at NZ, although many are from the local area not all are FROM NEW ZEALAND itself.,....

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Bobzilla July 13, 2011 10:57 am

Does anyone happen to know what other strategies they use to compete with bigger blokes?

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

They're fucking suicidal mate! That's their strategy. Does anyone remember the U21 game the other year between Japan and England? It was one of the most courageous defensive efforts I've seen in my life, considering the size difference as you say.

These guys are 50% and 50% discipline. There isn't much else too them

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Anonymous July 13, 2011 3:00 pm

To the person saying NZ recruits players -who can you name that is/are not "from new zealand itself"

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Anonymous July 13, 2011 11:54 pm

"I love the way people comment on japan having imports and italy etc etc.... take a look at NZ, although many are from the local area not all are FROM NEW ZEALAND itself.,...."

Nz have four players in their world cup not born in NZ.
two of them moved their when they were 4, one when he was 2 and one when he was 5.

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Alexander July 14, 2011 2:00 am

Yay Japan! V. happy for them, seeing their rugby develop!

P.S. To SH/NH debaters/gloaters, you are ALL moronic Neanderthals, desperate for some sort of identity in your life, who need to grow up. You are actually pathetic.

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Anonymous July 14, 2011 6:47 am

Japan beat Fiji today, and won the Pacific Nations Cup in doing so.
Good signs for the World Cup for them.

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