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Tuesday, 27th September 2011
In Japan Sports News,

Draw with Canada leaves Japan disappointed

Japan exited the Rugby World Cup (RWC) with heavy hearts today (September 27th) after drawing with Canada 23-23.

Although the team got off to a poor start, affording their opponents a strong lead, Japan appeared to have found their momentum when they took the first half 17-7.

The team's hooker, Horie, took Japan's 50th RWC try after Alisi Tupualai made an impressive offload.

James Arlidge was also on form as he scored 13 points, though his final drop goal attempt in the dwindling seconds failed to take Japan to victory.

It was in the dying minutes when it looked as though Japan's 23-15 lead would be enough to give them their first win in the competition in 17 games.

However, Canada's Munro scored a final try in the last five minutes, topping it with a penalty to complete the match with the RWC's third-ever draw.

John Kirwan, Japan's coach and former All Black player, remained proud of his side and praised them for their determination in the competition.

He said: "I think the boys played their hearts out, I'm very proud of them.

"They did a good job today and a win could have been great but I think that we just have to keep working hard."

Meanwhile, Canadian captain, Pat Riordan, was not complacent about his side's win, instead praising the Japanese midfield.

He said: "I'd like to think our boys, when they had the ball, they did some damage, too, but the centres they have there are pretty good runners."

This match undoubtedly displayed Japan's best efforts in the competition but their hopes were severely dashed last week when Tonga sent them out of the running with a 31-18 defeat.

It was a difficult start for the side that faced France in their opening game. Japan lost 47-21 to strong opposition.

The team also suffered a devastating to defeat to world number one, New Zealand, in an 83-7 result.

Japan is currently ranked 15th in the world.

Posted by Mark Smith  

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