Japan’s Arlidge injures leg

The Classic All Blacks scored two late tries to beat Japan 35-26 in Kobe on Thursday. But Japan lost more than just the match.

James Arlidge, once such a promising Auckland player, is now qualified to play for Japan and had done so against Korea and Hong Kong. In this match he suffered a leg injury which, it was suspected, was a double fracture.

In general this was a better than expected performance by the Japanese side which was not at full strength. John Kirwan said afterwards that with ten minutes to go he thought his side would win but two late tries by Scott McLeod and Ron Cribb clinched the victory for the Classics.

Japan took an early lead in Thursday’s game through tries by Mitsugu Yamamoto and Kosuke Endo when he ran past Jonah Lomu and through Carlos Spencer but the All Blacks responded through Justin Marshall, Cribb and Simon Maling.

For a long time in the second half there was no score. Eventually Yuta Imamura rounded off a move which started in the Japanese 22. This gave Japan the lead but then McLeod and Cribb scored before Hitoshi Ono got one at the end.

Afterwards John Hart, the Classics’ coach said: “Japan had structure and physicality. Their forwards were competing at the breakdown and John Kirwan has added structure to the team. The forward play was significantly ahead of anything I have ever seen from a Japan side.”


15 Goshi Tachikawa, 14 Kosuke Endo, 13 Koji Taira, 12 Shotara Onishi, 11 Christian Loamanu, 10 James Arledge, 9 Tomoki Yoshida, 8 Hare Makiri, 7 Takamichi Sasaki, 6 Hajimi Kiso, 5 Luke Thompson, 4 Hitsoshi Ono (captain), 3 Tomakazu Soma, 2 Mitsuga Yamamoto, 1 Takishitchi Nishiura.
Replacements: not announced

Classic All Blacks: 15 Carlos Spencer, 14 Jeff Wilson, 13 Scott Mcleod, 12 Tony Brown, 11 Jonah Lomu, 10 Andrew Mehrtens (captain), 9 Justin Marshall, 8 Ron Cribb, 7 Sam Harding, 6 Scott Robertson, 5 Simon Maling, 4 Royce Willis, 3 Gordon Slater, 2 Matt Sexton, 1 Joe McDonnell.
Replacements: 16 Lance Po-ching, 17 Kup Vanisi, 18 Charles Riechelmann, 19 Paul Thompson, 20 Jamie Joseph, 21 Mark Robinson, 22 Eric Rush, 23 Mark Ranby, 24. Pita Alatini

Referee: Taizo Hirabayashi (Japan)


365 Digital

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