RiJ has been working back through the history of Japan tests and this week looks at the second of three tests against the visiting New Zealand Universities in 1970. Meanwhile, the Japan U20s are having to go through qualification for the IRB JWRT in HK at the moment, and there is a full report on that this week.
Enjoy the read.
Ian McDonnell lives and works in Japan. He can be contacted at email@example.com
- Japan Test Match & Player History Project: 1970 NZU, Second Test
- IRB JWRT 2013: Asian Qualification: Full Report
- Japanese international rugby referees
- Golden Oldies World Rugby Festival Fukuoka 2012
The Japan Test Match & Player History Project
For nine years now RiJ has been documenting Japanese rugby across various levels of the game. More recently, however, RiJ has recognised the need to accurately document the history of Japanese test match rugby and the players that have represented Japan down through the years. With this in mind, RiJ has embarked on a project to write the history of Japanese international rugby, detail every test that Japan has played and profile every player that has represented Japan.
New Zealand Universities and British Columbia Tours to Japan 1970: NZU Second Test
In March 1970 New Zealand Universities and also the British Colombia Bears toured Japan in what was an overlapping triangular series involving the two touring teams and Japan.
NZU played nine games on tour including three tests against Japan and one game against BC winning all nine games. The long tour also included Hong Kong and Hawaii as well as Japan on the itinerary. NZU had previously toured Japan in 1936 for one win and a draw and again in 1967 winning both tests played making this their third tour of Japan. However, these two sides also squared off in Wellington on the 1968 Japan tour of New Zealand with NZU also winning on that occasion.
After the three opening games in Tokyo the tour moved west where NZU had a mid-week win over All-Doshisha University in the lead up to the second test against Japan at the Hanazono ground in Osaka on Sunday, 15 March 1970.
Just like the previous Sunday, the tourists chalked up another win, this time 28-14 in what was Japan test number 30 and Japan game number 69. For head coach Tetsunosuke Onishi this was his eighth test in charge for 3 wins and 5 losses. Hooker Tadahiko Omata from the Mitsubishi Motors Kyoto club as the oldest player in the Japan team was captain on his test debut in the first test but for this test in Osaka club team mate in centre Akira Yokoi took over the captaincy duties becoming the twenty-first person to captain Japan. Twenty-eight year old Yokoi was playing in his eighth test and although Omata would again captain Japan in the next two tests, Yokoi would captain his country in a further eight tests over the ensuing few years.
Onishi made a number of changes for the second test including bringing back Mitsuo Atokawa at hooker for Omata while also juggling the back row with flanker Motonari Ishida making a comeback after he played his previous test in Wellington in 1968, although this would be his fourth and final international appearance. Tadamasa Fujimoto started in the unusual position of No8 but when starting five-eighth Tsutomu Katsuraguchi went off injured Fujimoto moved out to his regular play-making position. Kishio Ishiyama made his debut at outside centre in this test while Toshio Kurosaka and Susumu Hara both made their debuts from the bench.
In total, NZU scored six tries to three and after leading 19-3 at the break went on with the job in the second half to claim a well deserved 28-14 victory. Flanker Yoshiharu Yamaguchi got first points on the board with a penalty in the sixth minute but the visitors responded with three first half tries, two conversions and a further two penalties from fullback and captain Gerald Kember. For what it was worth, Japan won the second half 11-9 with left wing Yoshihiro Sakata crossing for a double with right wing Tadayuki Ito picking up the other try. Yamaguchi completed the scoring for Japan with one conversion. Sakata and Ito were the most experienced players in the squad with eight caps each, while as mentioned above, three players made their debuts.
New Zealand Universities 36 d All-Waseda University 3, 01 March 1970, Chichibu, Tokyo.
New Zealand Universities 29 d All-Hosei University 14, 04 March 1970, Chichibu, Tokyo.
Japan 6 – New Zealand Universities 16. Sunday, 08 March 1970, Chichibu, Tokyo. (Test No.29, Japan Game No.68)
New Zealand Universities 46 d All-Doshisha University 12, 11 March 1970, Nishi-Kyogoku Stadium, Kyoto.
Japan 14 – New Zealand Universities 28. Sunday, 15 March 1970, Hanazono, Osaka. (Test No.30, Japan Game No.69)
IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2013
Asian qualification for the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2013 was held at the Kings Park Sports Ground in Hong Kong from Wednesday 25 July to Sunday 5 August 2012 with Japan, South Korea, Thailand and hosts Hong Kong the participating teams.
The JWRT is an under twenty tournament, however, players taking part in the qualifiers were aged under nineteen in order to qualify as under twenty in 2013.
On Sunday 29 July 2012, Asian Qualification for the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2013 got under way at the Kings Park Sports Ground in Hong Kong.
Japan on Day One
U19 Japan 50 d U19 South Korea 12
Venue: Kings Park Sports Ground, Hong Kong.
Kick-off: 5:00 PM local Hong Kong time (6:00 PM Japan time).
Halftime: Japan 29 – South Korea 5 (35 minute halves).
Japan: 1- Kota Yamane, 2- Shunta Nakamura, 3- Kohei Asahori, 4- Shoma Makinouchi, 5- Wataru Kobayashi, 6- Kazuki Azuma, 7- Shota Mizukami, 8- Hideaki Suzuki, 9- Atsushi Yumoto, 10- Takuya Yamasawa, 11- Ryo Nakano, 12- Yusho Takeda (c), 13- Kota Kii, 14- Takeshi Ogino and 15- Yuya Taka.
Reserves: 16- Genki Sudo, 17- Takumi Tsukahara, 18- Yuki Kato, 19- Yuki Ono, 20- Koki Arai, 21- Kazuhiro Goya and 22- Daisuke Hamano.
Scorers for Japan: Tries: Takeshi Ogino 3, Kazuhiro Goya 2, Atsushi Yumoto and Ryo Nakano; Conversions: Kazuhiro Goya 4 and Yusho Takeda 2; Penalty: Takuya Yamasawa.
U19 Japan started off their campaign with an opening round clash with Asian rivals U19 South Korea. The young Japanese got off to a flying start with right wing Takeshi Ogino from Waseda University bringing up a first half hat-trick of tries while replacement back Kazuhiro Goya who came on for the injured five-eighth Takuya Yamasawa in the fourteenth minute of the half scored the first of his two tries in the match. Yamasawa started the ball rolling with a successful kick at penalty goal in the first minute of the game before the tries started coming with Japan eventually taking a commanding 29-5 lead into the break. The South Koreans stemmed the scoring early in the second half but the sinbinning of one of their centres in the tenth minute of the latter half took the steam out of their defence with Japan running in a further three ties through halfback Atsushi Yumoto (16th minute), Goya (22nd minute) and left wing Ryo Nakano (30th minute) to close out the game 50-12. To put the icing on the performance captain in inside centre Yusho Takeda and Goya converted six of the seven tries in a fine kicking performance.
On Wednesday 01 August 2012, U19 Japan played their second game at the Asian Qualification for the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2013 at the Kings Park Sports Ground in Hong Kong with a convincing 69-0 win over U19 Thailand.
Japan on Day Two
U19 Japan 69 d U19 Thailand 0
Venue: Kings Park Sports Ground, Hong Kong.
Kick-off: 5:00 PM local Hong Kong time (6:00 PM Japan time).
Halftime: U19 Japan 31 – U19 Thailand 0 (35 minute halves).
Japan: 1- Genki Sudo, 2- Shunta Nakamura, 3- Kohei Asahori, 4- Shoma Makinouchi, 5- Wataru Kobayashi, 6- Kazuki Azuma, 7- Shota Mizukami, 8- Hideaki Suzuki, 9- Koki Arai, 10- Kazuhiro Goya, 11- Ryo Nakano, 12- Yusho Takeda (c), 13- Kota Kii, 14- Takeshi Ogino and 15- Yuya Taka.
Reserves: 16- Kota Yamane, 17- Takumi Tsukahara, 18- Yuki Ono, 19- Joji Sato, 20- Atsushi Yumoto, 21- Keita Suzuki and 22- Daisuke Hamano.
Scorers for Japan: Tries: Yuya Taka 3, Takeshi Ogino 2, Wataru Kobayashi, Yusho Takeda, Keita Suzuki, Kazuhiro Goya, Joji Sato and Shunta Nakamura; Conversions: Kazuhiro Goya 7.
After beating U19 South Korea 50-12 in their opening round clash, U19 Japan continued their campaign with an overwhelming 69-0 win over U19 Thailand in their next game. The young Japanese scored eleven tries to none with fullback Yuya Taka from Chuo University bringing up a first half hat-trick of tries while right wing Takeshi Ogino backed up his three tries from the first game with a double. Lock Wataru Kobayashi started the ball rolling with a try in the first minute of the game before the tries started coming with Japan eventually taking a commanding 31-0 lead into the break. The young Thais simply had no answers with the scoring continuing in a similar fashion in the second half. Six unanswered tries were added in the second period with replacements Keita Suzuki and Joji Sato among those who crossed the whitewash. Kazuhiro Goya who started at five-eighth complemented the try scoring converting seven of the eleven tries in another fine kicking performance.
On Saturday 04 August 2012, U19 Japan played their third and final game at the Asian Qualification for the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2013 at the Kings Park Sports Ground in Hong Kong coming away with a crucial 21-17 win over hosts U19 Hong Kong.
Japan on Day Three
U19 Japan 21 d U19 Hong Kong 17
Venue: Kings Park Sports Ground, Hong Kong.
Kick-off: 5:45 PM local Hong Kong time (6:45 PM Japan time).
Halftime: U19 Japan 7 – U19 Hong Kong 11 (35 minute halves).
Japan: 1- Genki Sudo, 2- Shunta Nakamura, 3- Kohei Asahori, 4- Shoma Makinouchi, 5- Kazuki Azuma, 6- Hideaki Suzuki, 7- Shota Mizukami, 8- Joji Sato, 9- Koki Arai, 10- Takuya Yamasawa, 11- Yuya Taka, 12- Yusho Takeda (c), 13- Kota Kii, 14- Takeshi Ogino and 15- Kazuhiro Goya.
Reserves: 16- Daichi Abe, 17- Takumi Tsukahara, 18- Wataru Kobayashi, 19- Yuki Ono, 20- Atsushi Yumoto, 21- Ryo Nakano and 22- Keita Suzuki.
Scorers for Japan: Tries: Joji Sato, Takuya Yamasawa and Hideaki Suzuki; Conversions: Takuya Yamasawa 3.
After beating U19 South Korea 50-12 in their opening round clash, followed by an overwhelming 69-0 win over U19 Thailand, U19 Japan did it tough in their third and final game to come up with a 21-17 win over tournament hosts U19 Hong Kong. The young Japanese scored three tries to one with No8 Joji Sato, Fukaya High School five-eighth Takuya Yamasawa and flanker Hideaki Suzuki picking up the five-pointers. Yamasawa complemented the tries by landing all three conversions to guarantee the win for Japan and more importantly qualification to the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy for next year. The hosts laid down the gauntlet to Japan with a try and two penalties in the first half to take an 11-7 lead into the halftime break. Yamasawa scored the second try for Japan in the third minute of the second half and when he converted his own try Japan grabbed the lead 14-11 and from that point on were never headed. The Suzuki try and Yamasawa conversion in the 20th minute stretched the lead to 21-11 and although Hong Kong kicked two late penalty goals it was not enough and Japan held on for a 21-17 win.
At the four-team Asian Qualification for the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2013 held at the Kings Park Sports Ground in Hong Kong from Wednesday 25 July to Sunday 5 August 2012, U19 Japan beat U19 South Korea 50-12 in their opening round clash, followed by an overwhelming 69-0 win over U19 Thailand before toughing it out in their third and final game to come up with a 21-17 win over tournament hosts U19 Hong Kong. Importantly, Japan now qualify for the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2013 to be held in Chile. Japan will join hosts Chile, Italy who were relegated after the IRB Junior World championship 2012 and five other yet to be determined regional qualifiers.
Comments by Head Coach Ryuji Nakatake
With only three days together to prepare for this tournament we beat South Korea in our opening game but the win left a lot to be desired. In our second game against Thailand our attack was particularly impressive, however, we did not perform at our best in the final game against Hong Kong. We came away with three wins and qualification but we still have a lot to work on ahead of the JWRT in Chile next year. Moreover, the growth of a number of high school students in this squad along with other players new to representative rugby was particularly pleasing. Given the short time we had together this experience was vital for the next generation of players at this level. The players will have a lot to reflect on after this tournament but they all gave it their best and it bodes well for next year.
Comments by Captain Yusho Takeda
Winning these three games was really something. However, there were a lot of unforced handling errors in try scoring situations and this is not something we can afford against overseas teams. It is unfortunate that we could not produce a really good try scoring side in the short time we had together. Next year we will meet teams that are physically much bigger than us and so we have to train hard to meet future challenges.
Japanese International Referees
Japanese referees have been busy on the world stage of late with well respected international referee Taizo Hirabayashi refereeing at the Amsterdam International Sevens tournament at the ACC Rugby Club Stadium in mid-May. He then was at the Carlton Super Sevens 2012 at the Police Park in Colombo Sri Lanka in early June 2012 along with fellow Japanese referee Yuki Tonai. Hirabayashi also refereed the South Korea versus United Arab Emirates fixture in South Korea in the HSBC Asian Five Nations in May.
Meanwhile, Akihisa Aso refereed the Hong Kong versus Kazakhstan clash in Hong Kong in the HSBC Asian Five Nations in May and Taku Otsuki refereed Kazakhstan versus South Korea in Almaty and UAE versus Hong Kong in Dubai in the same series.
Golden Oldies World Rugby Festival Fukuoka 2012
The 19th Golden Oldies World Rugby Festival, held every two years, will be held in Japan and also Asia for the first time this year at Fukuoka from 28 October 2012 to 4 November 2012.
The first Golden Oldies World Rugby Festival was held in Auckland, New Zealand in 1979 and has since been held in such countries as the USA, England, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, France, Scotland and Australia.
Golden Oldies is open to any rugby player of any standard over the age of 35 years of age across various levels of play. Scores are not kept and there is no overall winner of the tournament.
Fukuoka is a harbour city and commercial and trading centre of 1.5 million people located on the island of Kyushu. The city has a long and vibrant rugby tradition and is home to the Fukuoka Sanix Blues and Kyuden Voltex teams that will participate in the 2012-13 Japan Rugby Top League season. The venue for the festival will be the National Uminonakamichi Seaside Park with fifteen grounds available for games.
Day 1 – Opening Ceremony and Welcome Party.
Day 2 – First day of games.
Day 3 – Mid week picnic day.
Day 4 – Second day of games.
Day 5 – Free to explore Fukuoka.
Day 6 – Third Day of games.
Day 7 – Grande Finale Dinner and Air New Zealand Awards Ceremony.
More details coming soon.