Kirwan remains positive

Despite the 72-18 defeat to Wales in Cardiff on Thursday, Japan coach John Kirwan believes his troops can take plenty of positives into their final World Cup game.

The Welsh ran in 11 tries against a spirited if outclassed Japanese side, but the visitors managed to score two superb long-range tries through wingers Kosuke Endo and Hirotoki Onozawa.

Japan will be looking to avoid a RWC whitewash when they face Canada in their final group game in Bordeaux on Tuesday, and Kirwan is hoping that his Cherry Blossoms will be able to build on the brighter moments of the clash at the Millennium Stadium.

“It’s really important for the growth of this team to play against teams like Wales because, if you make mistakes, you get punished,” said the former World Cup winner.

“It’s very important we learn the lessons and take it into our match against Canada, which is the most important game of this World Cup for us.

“We came here to win two games. We should have beaten Fiji and now we need to get out there and beat Canada.”

Japan twice held the lead before being overrun, but captain Takuro Miuchi was still able to reflect on the strides his side have made since their 98-0 defeat on their previous visit to Wales in 2004.

“There has certainly been progress over the last three years but we have to work on playing for 80 minutes,” he said.

“In the first half our defence was good. It was disappointing, we stopped going forward in the second.

“Yes, we’re really happy about scoring the tries in that way, but disappointed we didn’t win.”


365 Digital

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