Tuesday, June 5, 2012

TEST RUGBY: PACIFIC NATIONS CUP Day 1

05.06.2012
Fiji v Japan in Nagoya (Pacific Nations Cup)

Venue: Mizuho Park Rugby Field, Aichi Mizuho

Referee:

Preview
Japan and Fiji clash at Nagoya in what is the main game of the day. Samoa and Tonga meet in the earlier game.

Japan has a number of advantages over Fiji. Firstly they have a greater number of match day games under there belt. Japan has played four test matches so far in the Asia Five Nations Cup. Not only have they won all their games by wide margins but new selector Eddie Jones has kept to a core of players. The combinations and tried and tested.

Japan is also playing at home. Their recent record against Fiji at home has not been good.

Fiji were a major disappointment at the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Many of their overseas-based players failed to fire and the coach came under criticism. Today Fiji has a new coach and a large number of new players many of them Fiji-based. This is an inexperienced side. They may well let Japan get off to a flying start before they can crawl their way back into the game.

Last Five Encounters
13.07.2011 Japan 24-13 in Lautoka (Pacific Nations Cup)
12.06.2010 Fiji 22-8 in Lautoka (Pacific Nations Cup)
03.07.2009 Fiji 40-39 in Suva (Pacific Nations Cup)
22.06.2008 Fiji 24-12 in Tokyo (Pacific Nations Cup)
12.09.2007 Fiji 35-31 in Toulouse (World Cup, Pool B)

The last time Japan defeated Fiji at home was back in 1994, The Cherry Blossoms winning 20-8 in Tokyo.

Japan Last Five
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)
22.09.2011 v Canada D 23-23 in Napier (World Cup, Pool A)

Fiji Last Five
02.10.2011 v Wales L 0-66 in Hamilton (World Cup, Pool D)
25.09.2011 v Samoa L 7-27 in Auckland (World Cup, Pool D)
17.09.2011 v South Africa L 3-49 in Wellington (World Cup, Pool D)
10.09.2011 v Namibia W 49-25 in Rotorua (World Cup, Pool D)
19.08.2011 v Tonga L 20-37 in Lautoka (World Cup Warm-up)

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Japan 13th, Fiji 15th

IRB Ranking Points
Japan 70.45, Fiji 68.78

Prediction: Japan by 10 points

Teams

 

10[1]   

   JAPAN

 

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

30[1]

FIJI

15   Isimeli Koniferedi * Nadroga
14   Waisea Nayacalevu  Melbourne RFC, Australia
13   Vereniki Goneva  Tarbes, France
12   Isake Katoniabu * Tailevu
11   Watisoni Votu * Lautoka
10   Setareki Koroilagilagi * Lautoka
9   Nikola Matawalu  Suva
8   Netani Talei (Capt.) Edinburgh, Scotland
7   Ratu Malakai Ravula  North Harbour, New Zealand
6   Iliesa Ratuva * Nadroga
5   Leone Nakarawa  Tailevu
4   Apisai Naikatini * Toyota Verblitz, Japan
3   Setefano Somoca  Nadroga
2   Viliame Veikoso  Suva
1   Graham Dewes  Counties Manukau, New Zealand
       
16   Seremaia Naureure * Nadroga
17   Waisea Daveta  Naitasiri
18   Malakai Volau  Suva
19   Kelepi Ketedromo  Nadi
20   Kelemedi Bola  Lautoka
21   Benedito Koroi * Lautoka
22   Alusio Butonidualevu * Grenoble, France
       
    HEAD COACH: Inoke Mali

* New caps

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