Sunday, June 10, 2012

PACIFIC NATIONS CUP RUGBY TEST: Japan v Tonga

10.06.2012
Tonga v Japan in Tokyo (Pacific Nations Cup)

Venue: Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground

Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)

Preview
For both these teams this match is crucial. Both lost their opening games on Tuesday. The equation is simple-lose today and you are definitely out of this competition! Win and you have a slim chance of squeaking in.

2011-05-japan-asian-5-nations-2011-champ
Japan will need all the support they can get


Will the inclusion of veteran Ryan Nicholas make the difference for Japan.
Image thanks to zimbio.com


Tonga lost narrowly to Samoa on Tuesday. They will want to improve on that performance. Image thanks to features.rr.com

Last Five Encounters
21.09.2011 Tonga 31-18 in Whangarei (World Cup, Pool A)
09.07.2011 Japan 28-27 in Suva (Pacific Nations Cup)
26.06.2010 Japan 26-23 in Apia (Pacific Nations Cup)
27.06.2009 Japan 21-19 in Lautoka (Pacific Nations Cup)
15.06.2008 Japan 35-13 in Sendai (Pacific Nations Cup)

Tonga last defeated Japan in Japan in 2002. They won 41-29 at Kumaguya in a friendly rugby test match.

Japan Last Five
05.06.2012 v Fiji L 19-25 in Nagoya (Pacific Nations Cup)
19.05.2012 v Hong Kong W 67-0 in Tokyo (Asia Five Nations)
12.05.2012 v Korea W 52-8 in Seoul (Asia Five Nations)
05.05.2012 v United Arab Emirates W 106-3 in Fukuoka (Asia Five Nations)
28.04.2012 v Kazakhstan W 87-0 in Almaty (Asia Five Nations)

Tonga Last Five

05.06.2012 v Samoa L 18-20 in Nagoya (Pacific Nations Cup)
01.10.2011 v France W 19-14 in Wellington (World Cup, Pool A)
21.09.2011 v Japan W 31-18 in Whangarei (World Cup, Pool A)
14.09.2011 v Canada L 20-25 in Whangarei (World Cup, Pool A)
09.09.2011 v New Zealand L 10-41 in Auckland (World Cup, Pool A)

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Tonga 12th, Japan 14th

IRB Ranking Points
Tonga 76.63, Japan 70.45

Prediction: Tonga by 5 points

Teams

10[1]

JAPAN

15   Ayumu Goromaru  Yamaha
14   Toshiaki Hirose (Capt.)  Toshiba
13   Ryan Nicholas  Suntory
12   Harumichi Tatekawa  Kubota
11   Hirotoki Onozawa Suntory
10   Kosei Ono  Suntory
9   Atsushi Hiwasa  Stade Fran├žais, France
8   Hendrik Tui * Panasonic
7   Takamichi Sasaki  Suntory
6   Yuta Mochizuki  Toshiba
5   Hitoshi Ono  Toshiba
4   Shinya Makabe  Suntory
3   Hiroshi Yamashita  Chugoku Electric Power
2   Takeshi Kizu  Kobe Steel
1   Yusuki Nagae  Chugoku Electric Power
       
16   Ryuhei Arita  Coca Cola
17   Kensuke Hatakeyama  Suntory
18   Shoji Ito  Kobe Steel
19   Takashi Kikutani  Toyota Verblitz
20   Jun Fujii  Toshiba
21   Tomohiro Senba  Toshiba
22   Yasunori Nagatomo  Suntory
       
    HEAD COACH: Eddie Jones

* New test cap

20[1]

TONGA

15   Viliami Iongi  Llanelly Scarlets, Wales
14   Siale Piutau  Otago Highlanders, New Zealand
13   Alipate Fatafehi  Lyon, France
12   Sefa Vaka  Toyota Shokki, Japan
11   Alaska Taufa  Akita, Japan
10   Kurt Morath  Kubota, Japan
9   Taniela Moa (Capt.) Pau, France
8   Viliami Ma’afu  Glasgow Warriors, Scotland
7   Sione Vaiomounga  Toloa Old Boys
6   Steven Mafi  Leicester Tigers, England
5   Joseph Tuineau  Montpellier, France
4   Joshua Afu  Carcarsson, France
3   Kisi Pulu  Perpignan, France
2   Ilaisa Maasi  Counties Manukau, New Zealand
1   Tevita Mailau  Auckland, New Zealand
       
16   Viliami Pola  South Canterbury, New Zealand
17   Sila Puafisi  Counties Manukau, New Zealand
18   Paula Kaho  Canberra Vikings RFC, Australia
19   Osaiasi Pepa Kolomatangi  Counties Manukau, New Zealand
20   Thomas Palu  Municipal Timisovava, Romania
21   Mafileo Kefu  Dax, France
22   Edmond Paea  E Suburbs RFC, Sydney, Australia
       
    HEAD COACH: Toutai Kefu (Interim)

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