Fiji down Japan
Nagoya, Japan - Fiji beat defending champions Japan 25-19 to hand new Brave Blossoms coach Eddie Jones his first defeat at the Pacific Nations Cup rugby tournament on Tuesday.
Fullback Ayumu Goromaru scored three penalties to give Japan a 9-0 lead in the first 20 minutes before the flying Fijians swiftly fought back with centre Aisake Katonibau and Waisea Nayacalevu scoring two consecutive tries.
Katonibau made the most of a turnover and some poor defence to cross for a try soon after Goromaru's third penalty, while Nayacalevu eluded a Japanese tackle to add another with stand-off Setareki Koroilagilagi cashing in both to end the first half 14-9.
Koroilagilagi added two more penalties in the second half, and the visitors scored a decisive third try when a superb catch and run by Waitisoni Votu and some quick hands at pace put winger Vereniki Goneva away in the 62nd minute to make it 25-12.
Japan needed to score to stay in the game and the forwards responded with a superb driving maul that resulted in a penalty try as the Fijians tried to stop it illegally.
Goromaru added the conversion and there were just six points between the teams, but Japan continued to make unforced errors and they were unable to close the gap.