A World XV beat Japan 45-20 in an entertaining Rugby World Cup warmup game in Tokyo on Saturday. The match gave Japan a chance to have a good run out before the tournament, and allowed some World XV players to impress their own country’s selectors.
The visitors to the Prince Chichubu Memorial Ground were led by South Africa’s Bakkies Botha and featured a whole host of Wallabies and Kiwi fringe players.
At halftime the match was poised to be a tight affair with the World XV leading just 19-7, but in the second half the strong outfit kicked into gear and scored some well taken tries, with huge winger Taqele Naiyaravoro scoring three tries, and All Black Andy Ellis scoring two.
Japan coach Eddie Jones remained upbeat despite the loss, their fourth in a row.
“In terms of our World Cup preparation, it’s excellent. We had a problem at the PNC in terms of our discipline in defense, and that was evident again today. At the PNC we had a problem with the breakdown.
“So they are the two main areas we need to fix. Can we fix them in the next four weeks? I’m positive we can. So the result is disappointing, but in terms of the World Cup preparation, we are still moving along well,” Jones said.
Uncapped Fiji-born Naiyaravoro, who is still looking for a World Cup spot with the Wallabies, said that hoped his hat-trick performance will have been noted by the likes of Michael Cheika.
“My goal now is to try to make the World Cup squad. There was a bit of an opportunity tonight. We’ll just have to see what happens from here.”
Japan will face Uruguay in Fukuoka on August 22nd and again in Tokyo the following Saturday, before taking on Georgia in Gloucester, England, on September 5th.