Canada and Japan reach Superpowers final
May 28, 2004

Canada and Japan will meet in the final of the Superpowers Cup in Tokyo after wins over the USA and Russia.

Rick Suggit, in his first match as Canadian coach, witnessed his inexperienced side record a 23-20 win over the US in their first game since the World Cup.

A penalty and try mid way through the first half by Canadian winger Tyler Wish while the Eagles had John Buchholz in the sin bin built the platform for the Canadian win, although Sale's Mike Hercus collected an intercept try to bring the score to 16-13.

Buchholz's reintroduction could, however, do nothing to stop a further try and penalty giving Canada a 23-13 half time lead.

Although the Eagles were able to stop Canada registering further points, they could themselves manage only one converted try in the second half, scored by Albert Tuitulotu and Canada held on for the win.

In the day's second match Japan proved too strong for Russia in the National Stadium in Tokyo, running out 29-12 winners.

With Japan's electric backs looking to move the ball quickly away from the Russian pack, they were able to neutralise the main threat of the strong Russians.

The tactic saw them take an early lead and, although Russia replied with a try by Dmitry Dyatlov, the home side scored a flurry of penalties and then a try on the stroke of half time by Takafumi Hirao to lead 16-5 at the break.

Further penalties in the second half, and a try from scrum half Ikeda, helped the Japanese to the final winning margin of 29-12, and a final berth berth against Canada on Sunday at the Prince Chichibu Stadium.

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