Yu Tamura's missed conversion cost Japan historic win over France

Francois Trinh-Duc made five successful kicks but France could not hold off Japan
Francois Trinh-Duc made five successful kicks but France could not hold off Japan

France 23-23 Japan, U Arena

Fly-half Yu Tamura missed a regulation conversion at the closing stage as Japan missed a golden chance to register their first ever win over France on Saturday.

Trailing by 13-8 at half-time, the visitors showed a lot of character in fighting back to end the encounter at U Arena in a 23-23 draw but could not quite cross the line.

Tamura kicked a fourth minute penalty to get Japan off the mark but France went on to level the scores nine minutes later with Francois Trinh-Duc slotting a three pointer of his own.

Hooker Shota Horie scored the opening try in the game in the 22nd minute but Trinh-Duc's second penalty in the 29th minute meant the gap between the teams remained just two. At the stroke of half time, Rabah Slimani touched down for the home and a conversion from Trinh-Duc meant Guy Noves' side went into the second half with a 13-8 lead.

The start of the second half saw Timothy Lafaele and Gabriel Lacroix trade tries but the latter was yellow-carded in the 60th minute which hampered France's momentum.

Having an extra man, Tamura kicked his second penalty to bring down the difference to just two points but Trinh-Duc kicked a penalty of his own to restore France's five point lead.

As the game was heading for a tight finish, replacement Shintaro Ishihara crashed past the post in the 72nd minute but Tamura missed a simple chance to add the extras as the game ended in a 23-23 draw.


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