World XV edge out Japan 28-31 in Kyoto

Nehe Milner Skudder was part of the winning World XV line-up
Nehe Milner Skudder was part of the winning World XV line-up

Japan 28-31 World XV, Kyoto

A spirited second half fightback from Japan did not prove enough as they were edged out 28-31 by World XV in Kyoto on Friday.

Japan started the game positively but it was World XV, who got their first points on the board when wing Tevita Li broke through that was collected by Lionel Cronje as he scored the opening try.

Cronje was on the thick of action once again as he offloaded to Toni Pulu, who scored his side's second try and in the process injured his arm. The response from the hosts came when flyhalf Yu Tamara sent a cross kick that found wing Kenki Fukuoka, who scored the opening try for Japan.

Skipper Adriaan Strauss came close to stretch his side's lead further but was halted by a brilliant tackle by Fukuoka.

However, it was a matter of time, they got their third try with Cronje once again setting up Tevita Li over the line. With Jason Jenkins diving from close range, World XV had a 17-point lead heading into the break.

The visitors once again started the second half strong with Li getting his second but Timothy Lafaele responded back to negate his effort.

Japan slowly stepped up their game with wing Lomano Lemeki also strolling over the line and replacement Ryoto Nakamura with his try got the hosts to a three-point difference that remained until the end.

Japan – Tries: Kenki Fukuoka, Timothy Lafaele, Lomano Lemeki, Ryoto Nakamura. Conversions: Yu Tamara (4).

World XV – Tries: Lionel Cronjé, Toni Pulu, Tevita Li (2), Jason Jenkins. Conversions: Cronjé (3).


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