Japan 42-12 Chile, Pool D, Stadium de Toulouse
Japan managed to overcome a spirited Chile side as they sealed a 42-12 victory in the Pool D clash of the Rugby World Cup in Toulouse on Sunday.
Japan had a late change ahead of the kick-off with Kazuki Himeno not recovering from a leg injury and was replaced at number eight by Jack Cornelsen.
Chile exerted early pressure on Japan on what was their World Cup debut and they were rewarded in the 5th minute as fullback Inaki Ayarza breached the defence of the Brave Blossoms allowing Rodrigo Fernandez to touchdown. The try was awarded after a consultation with the TMO for an offside and Santiago Videla kicked the extras to give a 0-7 lead.
The response from Japan almost came out immediately as Amato Fakatava powered through a defensive error from Los Condores for his first try and a conversion from Rikiya Matsuda helped them level the scores.
While Japan opted to kick a couple of penalties in the corner, Chile's indiscipline costed them dearly as they lost Matias Dittus to sin-bin in the 24th minute for a dangerous tackle on his opposite number Jiwon Gu.
With the numerical advantage on their side, Japan seized the lead for the first time in the game with scrum-half Yutaka Nagare offloaded setting up Jone Naikabula over and Matsuda kicked the conversion from the tee to make it 14-7.
Just as Dittus returned from the sin-bin, Chile lost captain Martin Sigren to yellow card by referee Nic Berry in the 38th minute for making contact with the Japanese player’s head and Fakatava crashed over following a maul for his second try. Matsuda added the extras as Japan completed the opening half with a 21-7 lead.
Five minutes into the second half, Japan's outside centre Dylan Riley was sin-binned for an illegal interception and shortly Japan worked through the phases to set up Michael Leitch over for their bonus point. Japan extended their winning margin with further tries from Ryoto Nakamura and Warner Dearns in the final 10 minutes as they completed a 30-point victory.
Japan will be facing England in the second round in Nice on 17th September while Chile will be facing Samoa in Bordeaux on 16th September.
Japan head coach Jamie Joseph is pleased with the win coming against a spirited Chile side.
"Chile came with a really spirited performance, really hearty, tackled like demons, turned our ball over, really put us under pressure," he said. "We had to deal with that without losing confidence."
Chile head coach Pablo Lemoine rued the lack of experience in the final phase of the game.
"We were OK for 60 minutes but in the last 20 minutes we missed some experience to manage the game and Japan were amazing with their efficiency," he said.
Team line up:
Japan: 15 Semisi Masirewa; 14 Kotaro Matsushima, 13 Dylan Riley, 12 Ryoto Nakamura, 11 Jone Naikabula, 10 Rikiya Matsuda, 9 Yutaka Nagare; 1 Keita Inagaki, 2 Atsushi Sakate, 3 Jiwon Gu, 4 Jack Cornelsen, 5 Amato Fakatava, 6 Michael Leitch, 7 Kanji Shimokawa, 8 Jack Cornelsen.
Reserves: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Asaeli Ai Valu, 19 Warner Dearns, 20 Shota Fukui, 21 Naoto Saito, 22 Tomoki Osada, 23 Lomano Lemeki
Chile: 15 Inaki Ayarza; 14 Santiago Videla, 13 Domingo Saavedra, 12 Matias Garafulic, 11 Franco Velarde, 10 Rodrigo Fernandez, 9 Marcelo Torrealba; 1 Javier Carrasco, 2 Diego Escobar, 3 Matias Dittus, 4 Clemente Saavedra, 5 Javier Eissmann, 6 Martín Sigren, 7 Raimundo Martínez, 8 Alfonso Escobar.
Reserves: 16 Augusto Bohme, 17 Salvador Lues, 18 Inaki Gurruchaga, 19 Pablo Huete, 20 Santiago Pedrero, 21 Ignacio Silva, 22 Lukas Carvallo, 23 José Ignacio Larenas.