Kirwan hails Japan effort

Japan coach John Kirwan has taken positives from his side’s demoralising 91-3 Rugby World Cup defeat to Australia in the opening Pool B match on Saturday.

Kirwan was delighted with his side’s display in the first half, but felt his young players tired after the break.

“I don’t have an issue about the result – the most important thing was the first 50 minutes and I was very happy with that,” said the New Zealander, whose side’s three points came from the boot of fly-half Kousei Ono.

“The second half was disappointing but the positives are that there were some very young players out there.

“We have to have an eye on the future. The Australia captain (Mortlock) said our line speed was hard to cope with and that they had to change their tactics.

“When we played our game, got off the defensive line and made our tackles, we put them under pressure, and that was the most pleasing thing for me.”

“The guys showed courage when they had the ball. But when you make a mistake, you are going to be punished

“Everyone saw that, regardless of the score, we kept going for the full 80 minutes.”

Japan winger Hirotoki Onozawa, his country’s vice-captain, was “proud” of his team’s efforts but admitted there were still things to work on.

“We did well to keep the pressure on them in the first half and our defence did well,” he said.

“There is a difference between the outside defence and the inside defence. We saw that the outside defence got tired as the match went on and that was the problem.

“We have work on this in training but I think we can recover.

“We have to analyse how we can score tries against these teams, and it’s a shame we weren’t able to show more of our skills.”


365 Digital

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