Asian Five Nations
Business as usual for rampant Japan
May 8, 2010
Alisi Tupuailei dive in to score Japan's opener © Getty Images
Japan have kept up their charge towards the Asian Five Nations title with a crushing 60-5 victory over the Arabian Gulf at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground in Tokyo.
John Kirwan's brave blossoms notched their second bonus point win in as many weeks against a tenacious Arabian Gulf side, who last weekend secured their maiden tournament win by seeing off Hong Kong 16-9 in Bahrain.
Centre Alisi Tupuailei combined with Dragons fly-half James Arlidge for the opener, trading passes on a simple switch move to dive over under the posts. For their second, No.8 Takashi Kikutani latched onto a long pass from Ryo Kanazawa and later turned provider for Arlidge to crash over for the third.
Prop Shinsuke Nakamura saw yellow just before the end of the half but the Gulf were unable to capitalise, instead shipping a fourth try, this time to Kosuke Endo, who scored five in last weekend's demolition of Korea.
The second-half turned into a procession as Japan turned the screw, Kaoru Matsushita beginning the scoring two minutes after the restart. Kanazawa, on debut, added a try to his earlier assist and his fellow debutant Koji Wada soon inked his name onto the scoresheet. Matsushita, Kikutani and Tupuailei all powered over for braces as time elapsed, but the Gulf were able to grab a consolation when Sean Hurley pounced while lock Toshizumi Kitagawa kicked his heels in the sin bin.
In the day's other game, Hong Kong kept alive their hopes of a second place finish and a spot in the cross-continental play-off with a 19-15 win over Kazakhstan at Hong Kong Football Club.
The home side scored the only tries of a hotly contested game through returning tight-head Nigel Hobler and centre Simon Hempel. From the kicking tee, wing Alex McQueen weighed in with three penalties. Kazakhstan were limited to five kicks from the boot of Maxim Lifontov as their efforts were not enough to secure victory.