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JAPAN VS. WORLD XV

Last Saturday, the All Blacks outperformed Australia, winning easily 37-20, the match played in Yokohama, Japan. The crowd of 46,000 was the highest rugby attendance in that country. The large crowd total bodes well for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The match was the third one in the traditional Bledisloe Cup, played between these two, Down Under fifteens. The Kiwis won all three matches this year and increased their tally against the Wallabies to nine wins in the past ten games.

Australia’s sloppy play contributed to their demise; 17 turnovers to 7 and ceding 11 penalties to 5. New Zealand built up a 14-point lead and were never challenged after that

The other contest in Japan on Friday witnessed a Japan comeback failing in the last few minutes against an All-Star World XV.  This is was the first Test played inside the refurbished Hanazono Rugby Stadium. The Brave Blossoms lost 31-28 as time ran out while they were inside the opponent’s ten-meter line. The World XV blasted out to a 31-7 lead when the Japanese started to cut into the deficit. The score narrowed to 31-19 with 20-minuts remaining. A last play knock on ended Japan’s hopes for an upset. This represented World XV’s third victory against Japan in the past four-years.

Next week: Japan welcomes the All Blacks.