Saturday, May 15, 2010

ASIA 5 NATIONS: Kazakhstan Tackles Japan

Kazakhstan v Japan in Tokyo (WCQ Asia R2; Asia5Nations)

Venue: Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground


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It would be a little presumptuous to expect Kazakhstan to win in Tokyo. Originally scheduled for Kazakhstan, the match was transferred to Tokyo because the facilities/amenities in Almaty were not up to standard. Whatever chance Kazakhstan had of winning (and it was slim even in the best possible circumstances) disappeared with that decision.

However, Kazakhstan has a real possibility of securing the much prized second Asian place in this competition. That would result in a repecharge playoff with Uruguay. Only Hong Kong stands in their way. Kazakhstan would have to win against Korea and hope that Hong Kong doesn't get a bonus point against Japan, or, most unlikely, a win.

Kazakhstan has a couple of dynamic players. Anton Rudoy is a world class loose forward. He bagged 3 tries against Arabian Gulf, missed the game against Hong Kong (which Kazakhstan lost) but returns against Japan. Fullback Lifantov is a real asset at fullback. Dynamic when he enters the backline and has a huge boot.

Anton Rudoy (left) could well make life very difficult for Japan. Image thanks to

Japan is on the home run for that finals place at the world Cup. John Kirwan has made a number of changes in the lineup and has left out seasoned campaigners Holani, captain Kikutani, Kitigawa and half back Toshiba. Is it a gamble? Well, I just can't see Kazakhstan getting close but it might not be a cricket score either.

Previous Encounters
24.04.2009 Japan 87-10 in Osaka (Asia5Nations)
10.05.2008 Japan 82-6 in Almaty (Asia5Nations)
10.12.1998 Japan XV 118-3 in Bangkok (Asia Games)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Asia Table-Japan 1st, Kazakhstan 3rd

Prediction: Japan by 30 points



15. Goshi Tachikawa (Toshiba) 33, 15
14. Kosuke Endo (Toyota) 29, 27
13. Koji Taira (Suntory) 27, 19
12. Ryan Nicholas (Suntory) 30, 18
11. Yasunori Nagatomo (Suntory) 24, 2
10. Shaun Webb (Coca-Cola) 28, 17
9. Fumiaki Tanaka (Sanyo) 25, 15
8. Masakazu Toyota (Coca-Cola) 23, 7
7. Toetu’u Taufa (Kintetsu) 29, 11
6. Sione Vatuvei (Sanyo) 27, 2
5. Luke Thompson (Kintetsu) 29, 20
4. Hitoshi Ono (Toshiba) 31, 38
3. Kensuke Hatakeyama (Suntory) 24, 11
2. Shota Horie (Sanyo) 24, 3
1. Hisateru Hirashima (Kobe) Age 27, 12 Tests
16. Takeshi Kizu (Tokai Univ) 21, 2
17. Shinsuke Nakamura (Suntory) 22, 3
18. Nozomu Fujita (Honda Heat) 25, 2
19. Shinya Makabe (Suntory) 23, 1
20. Koji Wada (Toyota) 25, 1
21. James Arlidge (Newport Gwent Dragons, Wales) 30, 18
22. Alisi Tupuailei (Canon Eagles) 29, 2

Head Coach: John Kirwan

Adapted from


Kazakhstan Squad
Ildar Abdrazakov (Almaty RFC) 11.09.1987, Age 22
Azattto Abishev (Almaty RFC) 19.11.1981, Age 28
Daulet Akymbekov (CSKA Almaty) 06.04.1988, Age 22
Evgeniy Antonov (Enisey-STM-Krasnoyarsk) 03.05.1974, Age 35
Akhmetzhan Baratov (Almaty RFC) 15.12.1985, Age 24
Mikhail Bzhitskih (RC Novokuznetski, Russia) 29.12.1986, Age 22
Denis Cherkashin (Almaty RFC) 06.01.1979, Age 31
Vladimir Chernykh (RC Novokuznetski, Russia) 12.08.1973, Age 36
Oleg Gusel’nikov (RC Novokuznetsk, Russia) 25.04.1989, Age 21
Sergey Harlov (RC Novokuznetsk, Russia) 26.08.1983, Age 26
Grigoriy Ivanchenko (Almaty RFC) 24.03.1985, Age 25
Sergey Konev (CSKA Almaty) 06.10.1987, Age 22
Maxim Lifontov (Enisey-STM-Krasnoyarsk) 30.12.1986, Age 23
Timur Mashurov, Capt.), (Almaty RFC) 19.04.1981, Age 29
Ilya Poplavskiy(RC Novokuznetsk, Russia) 01.01.1985, Age 25
Yevgeniy Romanov (CSKA Almaty) 12.05.1987, Age 22
Anton Rudoy (Enisey-STM-Krasnoyarsk) 21.02.1983, Age 27
Yevgeniy Shekurov (RC Novokuznetsk, Russia) 28.11.1978, Age 31
Roman Sorokodzyuba (RC Novokuznetsk, Russia) 19.12.1988, Age 21
Alexandr Zakharov (RC Novokuznetsk, Russia) 17.09.1986, Age 23
Alehandr Zateev
Serik Zhanseitov (CSKA Almaty) 08.07.1981, Age 28

Head Coach: Valeriy Popov

Adapted from

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