August 26, 2017
Japan Beats Hong Kong for 11th Place at #WRWC2017
Photo: INPHO/Oisin Keniry (Japan full-back Mayu Shimizu is tackled by Chong Ka Yan)
Japan beat Hong Kong 44-5 for 11th place match at the Women’s Rugby World Cup at Queen’s University in Belfast. To qualify for the World Cup, these two teams met for the Asian Championship with Japan winning both matches.
Japan fullback Mayu Shimizu opened the scoring in the second minute with a try for a 5-0 lead. Ten minutes later Honoka Tsutsumi accelerated past her opposite number for a try, increasing the lead to 10-0 as Shimizu missed the conversion.
In the 23rd minute, Japan was poised to score again working their way through seven phases, but turned the ball over and Hong Kong survived the attack.
The teams then went back and forth before Japan passed wide right from a breakdown and Akari Kato scored in the corner increasing the lead to 15-0 in the 36th minute.
During the first half, Japan attacked out wide with the back three scoring the first three tries to lead 15-0 at the break.
In the 41st minute Japan used line speed to swing Mayu Shimizu for a try to lead 20-0.
Hong Kong answered back in the 53rd minute with a Karen So try from a pick and go to narrow the lead to 20-5. Hopewell-Fong’s conversion was missed.
Japan answered back after a turnover and a cross kick with lock Ayano Sakurai going over the line from the breakdown for a 25-5 lead.
Japan took the restart and attacked deep into Hong Kong territory. A sustained attack resulted in a Makiko Tomika try and Shimizu conversion to effectively seal the match with a 32-5 lead.
In the 79th minute Ayano Sakurai added her second try from a pick and go. Ai Tasaka’s conversion was missed, but Japan lead 37-5. Japan then gathered the restart and Suzuki broke down the wide channel to score near the corner. Ai Tasaka then slotted the ball through the posts for a 44-5 win.
Japan’s Maki Takano was named Player of the Match.
Hong Kong Coach Jo Hull’s squad has shown consistent improvement match by match and will look at the improvements they have made after the World Cup is over. The side is a disciplined one that doesn’t commit many penalties.
Japan has also improved massively over the World Cup with impressive performances against Ireland and Australia after their opening match against France. They are young, talented and their crisp ball speed applies pressure to their opponents.
Japan v Hong Kong: 1 Seina Saito (C) 2 Misaki Suzuki 3 Saki Minami 4 Aoi Minmura 5 Ayano Sakurai 6 Yuki Sue 7 Ayaka Suzuki 8 Maki Takano 9 Moe Tsukui 10 Minori Yamamoto 11 Honoka Tsutsumi 12 Makiko Tomika 13 Iroha Nagata 14 Akari Kato 15 Mayu Shimizu 16 Chihiro Kobayashi 17 Mizuho Kataoka 18 Makato Ebuchi 19 Ai Hyugaji 20 Yui Shiozaki 21 Yumeno Noda 22 Chikami Inoue 23 Ai Tasaka
Hong Kong v Japan: 1 Lau Nga Wun 2 Roycle Chan 3 Lee Ka Shun 4 Chow Mei-nam (C) 5 Chan Ka Yan 6 Christy Cheng 7 Chan Tsz-ching 8 Christine Gordon 9 Mak Ho-yee 10 Rose Hopewell-Fong 11 Chong Ka Yan 12 Kelsie Bouttle 13 Natasha Olson-Thorne 14 Kwong Sau-yan 15 Adrienne Garvey 16 Winnie Siu 17 Karen So 18 Pun Wai Yan 19 Tang Sin Yang 20 Amelie Seure 21 Jessica Ho 22 Lee Tsz Ting 23 Colleen Tjoswold