Wales U20 overcome Japan to keep hope of fifth place finish alive

Wales U20 18-17 Japan U20, Perpignan

Wales managed to overcome a late try from Siosaia Fifita as they completed an 18-17 win over Japan in the World Rugby U20 Championship encounter at Perpignan.

The win has taken Wales to the second position in Pool A but they miss out on the semi-final spot but instead will face Argentina in the fifth place play-off while Japan finished at the bottom and will face Georgia in the 9th place play-off.

After the first 10 minutes went without a point, Japan got their first points on the board when Halatoa Vailea crossed over in the 11th minute but the response from Wales came five minutes later when Harri Morgan touched down and a conversion from Cai Evans put them in the lead.

Japan reclaimed their lead when Miyu Arai dotted down at the start of the second quarter but Wales finished the first half with a 13-10 lead with back to back penalties from Evans.

Wales started the second half with a missed penalty chance but winger Corey Baldwin sent Devi Cross over the line in the 52nd minute to take the scoreline to 18-10 but were given a late scare when Fifita touched down with five minutes to go and a conversion from Yuto Mori but the final push did not come from Japan as they succumbed to a 18-17 defeat.

Wales captain Tommy Reffell said: "We knew Japan would have had their eyes on us at the start of the tournament so to come away with a win was good. Credit to them, they made the scoreline a lot closer than we would have wanted it to be. We need to work on our discipline and maul defence in training."