Rugby

Japan mauled by World XV

2015-08-15 16:09
Taqele Naiyaravoro (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Taqele Naiyaravoro underlined his potential as a future Australia star with three tries and a powerful all-round display as an invitation World XV beat Japan 45-20 in Tokyo. 

Naiyaravoro, due to join Glasgow Warriors next season, is on the radar of Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who sent half-a-dozen World Cup hopefuls to Tokyo to gain valuable game time. 

While his prospective teammates were being battered by New Zealand in Auckland, the 6ft 5in former Waratahs wing took his chance by blasting through tacklers all evening for his treble.

He was backed up by two tries from veteran New Zealand scrum half Andrew Ellis, Australia’s Berrick Barnes kicked four penalties and three conversions, and replacement Mike Harris added a second half conversion. 

Japan were energetic and organised, with Karne Hesketh striking early on and a penalty try awarded in the second half when their forwards drove for the line. Ayamu Gomaru added a conversion and two penalties, and Harumichi Tatekawa one conversion. 

But Eddie Jones’s side - who face South Africa, Samoa, Scotland and the USA in next month’s World Cup - came off badly at the breakdown where they couldn’t compete with Australia's Liam Gill, New Zealand’s Adam Thomson and Springboks Number 8 Pierre Spies.  

Japan edged the opening 15 minutes, though, as the World 15 only worked their way out of their own half twice. 

They earned enough territory for Barnes to strike two long-range penalties but the advantage was wiped out when they were turned over in their own 22 and Japan swiftly moved the ball right for Hesketh to go over in the corner with Gormaru converting.

Naiyaravoro had been prominent carrying the ball up and the big wing grabbed the invitation side's opening try when Spies broke and committed tacklers down the short side. 

Two more Barnes penalties built up a 19-7 interval lead and Gormaru replied before Ellis dashed over for his first score after 54 minus following Naijaravoro’s leap to claim a Barnes cross-kick. 

Gormaru added a second penalty but Ellis struck again on the hour. Again it was Naiyaravoro whose break created the opening with Christian Leali’ifano providing the assist. 

At 33-13 down Japan gave themselves an opening 12 minutes from time when a well-organised lineout drive was pulled down, a penalty try awarded and New Zealand’s Ali Williams in the sin bin. 

But Taqele added two late scores in the final 10 minutes, first when Liam Gill put him clear after another breakdown steal and then when he battered over from close range.

Read more on:    world xv  |  japan  |  rugby
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