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Monday, 12th September 2011
In Japan Sports News,

Japan show promise despite first defeat

Japan gave France a scare in their opening game at the Rugby World Cup, despite losing 47-21 to Les Bleus.

With strong performances from half backs, Fumiaki Tanaka and James Arlidge, the side proved they have a lot to offer at this competition.

Emile Ntamack, assistant coach for France, said: "We came back at the end of the game, but we were under pressure."

James Arlidge undoubtedly showed particular stamina, scoring all Japan's points.

John Kirwan, Japan's coach, observed that his players lacked the intensity needed to overcome the French.

"We want to be the most improved football team," he said.

It took just 17 minutes for Japan to make their initial gains, when Arlidge took a penalty for his side.

However, the success was short-lived as France's Yachvili led his team to a 20-3 lead by the 28th minute.

The next hurdle for Japan will be a tough battle against the host nation in Hamilton next Friday (September 16th).

Posted by Mark Smith