Wednesday, 23rd May 2012
In Japan Sports News,
Japan claims fifth consecutive Asian rugby Five Nations crown
Japan have won their fifth consecutive Asian Five Nations championship after thrashing Hong Kong 67-0 in Tokyo on Saturday (May 19th).
The Brave Blossoms maintained their 100 per cent record in the history of the competition, which was launched five years ago, with a blistering performance that left their opponents chasing shadows.
Centre Yu Tamura set the tone for the match early on as he went over the line after just five minutes before right flanker Takamichi Sasaki scored the second try three minutes later.
Ono quickly grabbed another try before winger Toshiaki Hirose and veteran Hirotoki Onozawa also went over the line to make it 29-0 at half-time.
The second half continued in the same one-sided fashion with Onozawa, Michael Leitch, Shoji Ito, Ayumu Goromaru, Kensuke Hatakeyama and Ryuhei Arita all getting on the score sheet to seal Japan's 20th straight win in the Five Nations.
In an interview with the Associated Free Press, Japan head coach Eddie Jones revealed that there was still room for improvement despite the impressive victory.
"We need to get far better in the scrum," the former Australia coach said.
"We don't have the leg strength to scrimmage low. We need to develop a low effective scrum."
The 52-year-old will be looking for his side to continue their good form into the upcoming Pacific Nations Cup, which starts on June 5th in Nagoya.
They will compete against Tonga, Samoa and Fiji for the title and will hope that home advantage sees them through as five of the six games will be held in Japan.
Jones has revealed that his players have put on more muscle over the past six weeks in order to cope with the more physical challenge of their Pacific Nations rivals.
He said: "I can't fault the players' attitude at all. They are learning really quickly and working very hard.
"If we are to be one of the top ten teams in the world then we have to be the hardest working team in the world."
Written by Mark Smith