Japan defeats America in first of two series

Ryan Nicholas scored four penalties Sunday to help Japan defeat the United States 29-19 in the first test of a two-match series.

The U.S. led 14-10 at the break but Kosuke Endo scored a try early in the second half to put his team ahead for good.

“I’m really proud of the boys,” said Japan coach John Kirwan.

“We often talk of courage and heart but in the second half we showed that and really stepped up with just 14 men in the last 15 minutes.”

The U.S. team cut the lead to 26-19 on a conversion by Joseph Welch but Japan sealed the win in the 78th minute when Nicholas scored his fourth penalty.

Japan improved to 4-12 with one draw against the Americans. The two teams will face each other again on Saturday in Tokyo.

Final Score Japan 29 (10) USA 19 (14)


Tries: Holiniasi Holani, Kosuke Endo.
Conversions: Ryan Nicholas (2).
Penalties: Ryan Nicholas (4), Shaun Webb.

Tries: Mike MacDonald, Takudzwa Ngwenya, Joseph Welch.
Conversions: Mike Hercus (2).



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