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.
Brave Blossoms Squad