Asia Rugby Championship

Asia Rugby Championship 2016

Rampant Japan demolish South Korea in 60-3 Asia Rugby Championship romp

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 May, 2016, 11:15pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 May, 2016, 11:17pm

Japan all but secured their second consecutive Asia Rugby Championship in Incheon on Saturday with a 60-3 mauling of South Korea.

While Hong Kong can still mathematically level the series with bonus-point wins in their last two games, three bonus-point wins have left the Brave Blossoms with one hand firmly on the silverware.

Japan entered the match with a 23 that included five debutants and a host of changes from their last outing.

Interim coach Ryuji Nakatake said he was pleased with the victory, but also praised the South Korean effort.

“Korea have high pressure on defence and particularly on the breakdown,” he said.

South Korea, with three changes to their starting 15 from last week’s 34-27 defeat by Hong Kong, showed more fight than in their 85-0 loss to Japan in the regional championship opener, but they were never in the game.

They started the match with the assistance of a strong breeze and made use of it in the opening minutes – fly-half Oh Jim-Yeong launching a successful penalty kick from halfway to give his side an early 3-0 lead.

Japan responded soon after through a try to hooker Atsushi Sakate and they took the ascendancy when captain Keisuke Uchida split the home defence to make it 10-3.

South Korea’s cause was made tougher when Youn Kwon-Woo found himself in the sin bin after 16 minutes, allowing Japan to further drive home their advantage.

A penalty try and a brace from Ryohei Yamanaka saw Japan pull away and take a 29-3 lead into the half-time break.

It was all Japan after the restart and South Korea were again a man down when Kim Hyun-Soo was yellow-carded after 53 minutes.

A second try to Sakate was followed by scores from Kentaro Kodama, Naohiro Kotaki, Takuhei Yasuda and Hajime Yamashita, and a strong defensive effort ensured Japan are yet to concede a try in the tournament.

Next weekend Japan host Hong Kong in Tokyo, and the following weekend South Korea are away to Hong Kong in the final round of the 2016 Asia Rugby Championship.