England 'A' win in Japan
July 3, 2003
Olly Barkley scored 22 points as England opened their Tokyo tour with a five-try 37-10 victory over a Japan Select XV.
In rainy but humid conditions at Tokyo's Ajinomoto Stadium, England turned an 11-10 half-time lead into a comprehensive victory, with the Bath flyhalf scoring two tries in his 22-point haul.
The win gives England four from four against Canada, USA (twice) and today's Test-strength Select side, with Sunday's match against Japan remaining.
"Fair play to Japan," said coach Jim Mallinder, "they put us under a lot of pressure and forced us into turnovers. But I was pleased with the way we responded in the second half. We started to control the game, driving a few line-outs and playing for field position a lot more.
"We have played four games and won four and we'll be looking to finish the tour succesffuly at the weekend."
Mallinder reserved special praise for London Irish prop Neal Hatley, starting his first game on tour, saying: "Neal was particularly good in the loose and did a lot of hard work. For a big fella he got around very well considering the conditions."
England are still recovering from their trans-Pacific journey after winning the Churchill Cup in Vancouver and Barkley admitted: "It was a tough first half and we struggled to acclimatise to the heat and humidity, especially with the jet-lag. We played with more control in the second half but there is still a lot to work on."
They held a one-point lead at the break thanks to an injury-time try from Pete Anglesea, who intercepted a pass on the Japan 22 and galloped in unopposed.
That reversed a deficit from the 21st minute when Montferrand flier Daisuke Ohata beat Paul Volley to a chip down the wing and hacked on before picking up and diving over.
England employed their driving line-out early in the second half and the benefits were immediate with two tries in the first 18 minutes. First , Barkley slipped a tackle from Yukio Motoki to score next to the post and then Phil Christophers was the beneficiary in the corner as Japan ran out of defenders.
Dan Scarbrough made it 30-10 in the 77th minute when Barkley kicked on a loose ball on the halfway and the Leeds Tykes winger showed his own footballing skills with a hack and a dribble before diving on the ball.
Barkley had the last word when Dan Hyde put him away for his second try, to which he added the extras.
England: M Horak (London Irish); D Scarbrough (Leeds Tykes), F Waters (London Wasps), B Johnston (Saracens, H Paul Gloucester 55), P Christophers (Leeds Tykes); O Barkley (Bath), N Walshe (Sale Sharks, M Wood Bath 73); N Hatley (London Irish, A Sheridan Sale Sharks 68), M Cairns (A Titterrell 68 both Sale Sharks), D Flatman (Bath, W Green London Wasps 55), C Jones (Sale Sharks), A Brown (Gloucester, H Vyvyan Newcastle 40), P Volley (London Wasps), A Hazell (Gloucester), P Anglesea (capt, Sale Sharks, D Hyde Leeds Tykes 58).
Scorers: Tries - Barkley 2, Anglesea, Christophers, Scarbrough; Pens - Barkley 2; Cons - Barkley 3.
Japan Select XV: M Tsutomu (Toshiba Fuchu); D Ohata (Montferrand), H Namba (Toyota Motor), Y Motoki (Kobe Steel), T Kurihara (Suntory); K Hirose (Toyota Motor), Y Sonoda (Kobe Steel); S Hasegawa (Suntory), M Amino (NEC), M Toyoyama (Toyota Motor), H Kiso (Yamaha Motor), A Parker (Toshiba Fuchu), T Ito (Kobe Steel), T Miuchi (capt, NEC), Y Saito (Colomiers). Reps: M Yamamoto (Toyota Motor), H Matsuo (Toshiba Fuchu), K Kubo (Yamaha Motor), Y Watanabe (Toshiba Fuchu), W Murata (Yamaha Motor), R Parkinson (Sanix), H Onozawa (Suntory).
Scorers: Try - Ohata; Pen - Hirose; Con - Hirose.
Referee: Scott Young (Australia)