Japan 94, Hong Kong 5 in Tokyo (WCQ Asia R2; Asia5Nations)
Kazakhstan 32, Korea 25 in Incheon (WCA Asia R2; Asia5Nations)
Romania 33, Ukraine 3 in Kiev (WCQ Europe R5 Playoff, 1st leg)
Slovenia 16, Norway 13 in Oslo (ENC 3B)
Finland 22, Estonia 15 in Viismi (Friendly. Estonia’s first test match
Japan is going to the 2011 Rugby World Cup finals in New Zealand. Sounds like a big announcement and it is. It's just that that fact was known long ago as Japan is light years ahead of any Asian rivals, as this years Asia5Nations results prove. Japan were too good for a Hong Kong team who needed a bonus point to keep their 2nd Asia spot. It wasn't to be because fireworks were happening across the water in Korea.
Kazakhstan came from being down 25-13 to mount the mother of a comeback to gain all the points needed (including a bonus for 4 tries, 3 to a certain Anton Rudoy!) and snatch that second place away from Hong Kong. What a game they tell me. I said it would be a cracker!
Romania, with a number of stars absent, rumbled their way over Ukraine to gain a decisive 33-3 win. Romania look to have Europe R5 sewn up with a home game second leg fixture against Ukraine in Bucharest next month.
Slovenia will play in ENC 3A for 2010-12 with a close 16-13 win in Oslo, whilst Estonia kicked off their international rugby with a respectable loss to Finland in Estonia.
We, players and media, have an international rugby rest next weekend as there are no, as far as I'm aware, test matches scheduled for the 29th. Which is just as well as I'm running a stamp and coin fair in my home town here in Tasmania.