Debut try for Cokanasiga as England rally to avoid Japan upset

Action Images via Reuters

Japan's expansive, free-flowing rugby caused the hosts all sorts of problems in the first 40 minutes, as the visitors deservedly led 15-10 at half-time, but England hit back after the break to triumph 35-15.

Jones sent on Farrell for the second half, then started emptying his bench early as several of the stand-ins spectacularly failed their auditions.

Japan's enterprising play was rewarded with tries by centre Ryoko Nakamura and captain Michael Leitch.

"They've had a tough year, a bit like us, it's their last game of the year, as it is ours so we'll both be looking for a winning performance".

England, for their part, were grateful for the halftime turnaround.

However, England came on strong in the final quarter as flanker Wilson, powerful winger Cokanasiga and hooker Dylan Hartley all crashed over secure victory and set them up nicely for a final game before the 2019 Six Nations against Australia next weekend.

In the first half Japan had 77 percent of territory and 69 percent of possession. Instead Japan roared back to totally dominate the half with quick thinking and clever, fizzing passing and they should have been more than 15-10 ahead.

The ball was worked back and across the field before finding Leitch on the right.

From the ensuing scrum, half-back Fumiaki Tanaka found Nakamura, who went in under the posts after Alex Lozowski - replaced by the influential Owen Farrell, England's regular co-captain, at half-time - missed a tackle.


"First touch of the ball we score an easy try and maybe the players thought it was just going to happen".

Despite the defeat, Japan showed that progressing to the knockout stage when they host next year's World Cup from a pool that also includes Ireland, Scotland, Samoa and Russian Federation (who they play next week in Gloucester, England) is not beyond the realms of possibility.

"We probably got seduced by the try in the first few minutes", said Jones.

"Japan are a hard side to play against if you haven't played them before but I think our second half response was excellent", added Jones, whose side complete their November program at home to his native Australia, fresh from a 26-7 win over Italy in Padua.

"We were actually in a pretty good position and we just needed to find the right way to play in the second half and Japan is a hard side to play if you haven't played against them before".

The match was just the second full Test Japan had played against England, who thrashed the Brave Blossoms 60-7 at the inaugural 1987 World Cup.

"The way we responded pleased me".

But as Joseph pointed out they still need to work on their discipline and accuracy.

England forward Maro Itoje: "Against any team in global rugby we know the opposition will have quality and Japan had a lot of quality, they didn't give up".

Related News:



Most liked

Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt spotted on the sets of 'Brahmastra'
The film Brahmastra has been written and directed by Ayan Mukherjee and produced by Karan Johar's Dharma Production. The couple is also set to star in Brahmastra , which is their first film together.

Donald Trump says Osama bin Laden should have been captured sooner
Beginning with a tweet on January 1, the US President has announced stop giving military and security assistance to Pakistan. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi says, " Pakistan has paid with blood in the war on terror ".

Nissan chairman arrested on suspicion of 'financial misconduct'
It said an investigation found that Ghosn and another board member had been under-reporting Ghosn's compensation. There he helped engineer a turnaround in the carmaker's fortunes that earned him the nickname "Le Cost Killer".

Start 'em up, Rolling Stones to open new tour in South Florida
The Rolling Stones are coming to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro next year as part of their stadium tour around the United States. Finally, on November 19, the band announced a thirteen-city USA tour, including a Denver concert at Broncos Stadium on May 26.

What we learned from the Chargers' 23-22 loss to the Broncos
The absence of a home-field advantage came back to bite the Chargers as they blew a 19-7 lead and fell to the lowly Broncos 23-22. Chargers defensive tackle Corey Liuget was carted to the locker room with a knee injury during the second quarter.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attend the Royal Variety Performance
Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli and his son Matteo sang a duet, Ezra sang Shotgun and Take That finished with Never Forget. On the red carpet Meghan was presented with a posy by seven-year-old Darcie-Rae Moyse, from Crowthorn in Berkshire.

Democrats sign letter opposing Nancy Pelosi as House speaker
Trahan told the Sun there was no one else with Pelosi's experience and proven track record and that the stakes are too high. Trump has tweeted his respect and support for Pelosi and even offered to round up GOP votes to help elect her speaker.

Oil prices climb on prospect of OPEC cuts
OPEC ministers are scheduled to meet in Vienna on December 6, with their allies from outside the group joining them the next day. Trade tensions between the USA and China escalated over the weekend, adding to worries supply may overtake consumption.

United Nations draft resolution urges Yemen peace talks
On Monday, the German government also announced that it was halting previously approved arms exports to Saudi Arabia amid the Khashoggi fallout.

APEC meeting achieves positive results: Chinese officials
The vice president said the USA doesn't "drown our partners in a sea of debt" or "offer a constricting belt or a one-way road". PRIME MINISTER LEE HSIEN LOONG, on the impact of a prolonged trade war between the U.S. and China on global growth.

Diddy on Kim Porter: We were more than soulmates
Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 every weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra - if you miss us you can listen back here. Paramedics rushed to Porter's house Thursday morning following reports she was unresponsive. 'This is unbelievable.

Chris Watts sentenced to life for murders of pregnant wife, daughters
Police said Watts killed his wife and their daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste, inside their suburban Denver home. After they were discovered, Watts told police that it was Shanann who strangled the girls after he told her he was leaving her.

England’s Willett wins golf World Tour Championship
The 31-year-old finished two shots clear of Wallace and Reed on 18 under par, despite bogeys at holes 10 and 12. To achieve those things, you know, in one single season, is just incredible'.

Once Upon a Deadpool Trailer Kidnaps Fred Savage for Christmas
And according to Collider , they did shoot new scenes for this version, like that Up reference in the middle of the trailer. If you look closely at the bookcase behind Savage, there's a Captain America action figure sitting on the shelf.

Fallout 76's latest update hits 48GB, full patch notes detailed
The limit is now in place for technical reasons, Bethesda said, but it has short-term and long-term plans for improvement. Bethesda recently detailed its updates schedule for the game, and already said that today's update would be rather large.