Italy look to strike back from Japan rugby thrashing

2018-06-15 12:09
Leonardo Ghiraldini (Getty Images)

Kobe - Italy have promised to hit back against Japan in their second rugby Test on Saturday after suffering a bloody nose in last weekend's opener. 

The Brave Blossoms thumped the visitors 34-17 in Oita in the first game of a two-match series, and the Italians are anxious to avenge that heavy defeat by the 2019 World Cup hosts. 

"We're in the best possible condition," Italy captain Leonardo Ghiraldini told reporters on Friday. 

"As usual we have come here for a victory. If we put in the performance we are capable of, then we expect to win." 

But Japan, who are ranked 11th in the world - three places above the Six Nations team - could once again prove a tough nut to crack and coach Jamie Joseph has called for improvement from his players. 

"We turned a lot of their ball over but we never really capitalised on those opportunities," the former All Black told local media. 

"We've worked a lot on trying to create opportunities around turnover ball. That's the unstructured game that we pride ourselves on." 

Joseph also called for Japan to be more clinical in the tackle. 

"We missed a tot of tackles," he said. "We missed 36 tackles and that's just not good enough. We want to improve that skill-set and that part of the game." 

Meanwhile, Japan captain Michael Leitch warned against complacency. 

"That's always a danger when you beat a team quite convincingly," he told Kyodo news. "The big focus for us this week is keeping the preparation the same but making sure we are mentally switched on."



15 Kotaru Matsushima, 14 Lomano Lemeki, 13 Will Tupou, 12 Timothy Lafaele, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Michael Leitch (captain), 6 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 5 Samuela Anise, 4 Wimpie Van Der Walt, 3 Ji-Won Koo, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki

Substitutes: 16 Yusuke Niwai, 17 Shintaro Ishihara, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Amanaki Mafi, 21 Yutaka Nagare, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Ryoto Nakamura


15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Tommaso Castello, 11 Matteo Minozzi, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Abraham Steyn, 7 Jake Polledri, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Dean Budd, 4 Alessandro Zanni, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (captain), 1 Andrea Lovotti

Substitutes: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Cherif Traore, 18 Simone Ferrari, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Giovanni Licata, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Carlo Canna, 23 Giulio Bisegni

Read more on:    italy  |  japan  |  rugby


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