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Finished Okara Park

Tonga 31 - Japan 18

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  1. Tonga triumph over Japan

    Tonga triumph over Japan

    Tonga triumphed 31-18 over Japan in an ill-disciplined but entertaining World Cup Group A match in Whangarei. More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:80'
    • Tonga
    • Japan
    • - Tonga triumph 31-18 over Japan in an ill-disciplined but entertaining Group A match - boosting their chances of finishing third and qualifying for the 2015 tournament in England. Groups
    • 80+1' Japan batter at Tonga with the final attack of the match but an error gives Tonga a penalty - and Morath kicks to touch to end the match.
    • 80' Still they carry, looking for a last hurrah in this game which will end so disappointingly for them.
    • 79' The final Japan attack comes to nothing in front of the posts and Tonga can clear.
    • 78' Another penalty as second row Lokotui commits a foul - and sees yellow. The end of his evening.
    • 77' Following the clearance Japan work the ball over halfway and win a penalty. Arlidge kicks for position quickly, right in the corner.
    • 76' Tonga penalty as they finally came under pressure inside their own half. Japan indisciplined as they see their chance of a first World Cup win since 1991 peter out.
    • 75' Tonga change: scrum-half Samisoni Fisilau on.
    • 74' Still in the Japan half - Tonga have the ball and ref Pearson gets in the way of a pass! Photos from the match
    • 73' Tonga kick downfield to the Japan 22 and touch. The latter side wins the ball from the lineout, but they are pegged deep in defence with time running out.
    • 72' Penalty for Japan though and it goes to the corner as Aulika is allowed back on. Arlidge pops it to Tupuailai, but he is held back and Tonga turn over the ball.
    • 71' Japan carry beyond the maul but a huge meeting of bodies forces them back. There will be a lot of bruises around tomorrow... Arlidge tries for a little kick that comes back off the crossbar and into a Tongan's hands!
    • 70' As the lineout is won by Japan, the sin-bin clock counts down below a minute.
    • 69' Japan turn it over but a loose pass from Arlidge loses the momentum they have built. However an offside decision gives the Brave Blossoms a penalty - kicked to the corner.
    • 68' PENALTY TONGA! 31-18 TONGA! Morath makes it six from seven today with an excellent effort - his kicking has been one of the main reasons why they are remaining so far ahead of Japan.
    • 67' Disaster for them as they concede a penalty in it. Tonga will kick for goal.
    • 66' Japan retain the ball, winning a scrum inside their half. They must make Tonga pay while they have 14 men.
    • 65' Second row Luke Thompson lifted to take the ball from the kick-off, and is illegally tackled as he is still in the air.
    • 64' What seems a fairly routine kick for Arlidge is put wide. That could prove crucial if Japan continue this comeback.
    • 63' TRY JAPAN! 28-18 TONGA! Outside centre Alisi Tupuailai powers over the line as he takes an Arlidge pass on a diagonal tangent.
    • 62' TMO decision pending on a Japanese try - five-metre scrum awarded instead as hooker Shota Horie, so impressive in the first game against France, was held up.
    • 61' Tonga's Aulika yellow-carded for repeated "negative play" in the defensive area of the pitch.
    • 60' They win the lineout and seek to bind on in the maul. They get nowhere with it, but Tonga are offside and again the ball is sent into the corner.
    • 59' Tongan power repels the Japanese backs but Arlidge has the chance to kick for the corner with a penalty.
    • 58' Japan working the ball inside Tongan territory as coach John Kirwan looks on. After a visit to the Waipoua Forest to see the sacred tree Tane Mahuta this week, he said: "This is a very strong place for us to be. We will take your strength with us on Wednesday night, when we have a huge game ahead of us."
    • 57' Japan change: Hitoshi Ono on ahead of the restart.
    • 56' CONVERSION TONGA! 28-13 TONGA! Morath's kick from wide on the right is sweet, through the centre of the posts.
    • 55' TRY TONGA! 26-13 TONGA! Morath changes the direction of the attack to the right, giving the ball to Piutau... his clever looping pass overhead is picked up by Vainikolo and he bulldozes his way over after feinting inside!
    • 54' Japan almost break down the right but a handling error ends the chance of a counter.
    • 53' Japan now make a pair of changes: Sione Talikavili Vatuvei and Atsushi Hiwasa on.
    • 52' Taumalolo taken into touch and Japan win the defensive lineout.
    • 51' Japan holding them at bay but all the momentum with their Pacific rivals.
    • 50' Tonga with lineout ball from Japan and kick. The ball bounces awkwardly and comes back into the arms of Tongan Lokotui.
    • 49' PENALTY TONGA! 21-13 TONGA! Tonga two scores ahead once again as Morath sends a place kick over.
    • 47' Tonga won't allow Japan out of their half. Tonga have made two changes: Aloisio Ma'asi and Alisona Taumalolo on.
    • 46' Vainikolo pounds his way to the right corner, but right before the line his pass inside is intercepted by Japan wing Hirotoki Onozawa!
    • 45' On the 11th phase Alipate Fatafehi spreads play to fellow centre Siale Piutau, who gives it to Hufanga... the wing feeds inside to Sione Vaiomo'unga but he is tackled - and knocks on.
    • 44' Moa puts in at the scrum on halfway but the crazy turnovers continue... Tonga eventually have it on the Japan 10-metre line.
    • 43' After exchanging a couple of kicks Endo looks to lift a kick down the line but just gives the ball to Tonga near the Japan 22. They get away with it though as they manage to clear their lines the next time they have the ball.
    • 42' Japan have the ball back but cannot do anything with it and Tonga kick downfield.
    • 41' Arlidge, back from the sin-bin, kicks off the second half.
    • - An error-strewn half but another great spectacle for the fans as both sides look to finish third in Group A to qualify automatically for the 2015 World Cup in England. The top two spots are realistically beyond them, with New Zealand and France expected to reach the first knockout stage. Groups
    • 40+1' Webb takes the mark cleanly when the ball comes back, and is advised by ref Pearson that time is up - and this time he boots into touch to end the half.
    • 40' Japan under pressure and Webb boots high but centrally despite the clock having passed 40 minutes...
    • 39' PENALTY JAPAN! 18-13 TONGA! Webb deputises for Arlidge and sends a scrappy-looking kick over.
    • 38' Fetu'u Vainikolo takes a catch in his own half but Japan meet him - and win the penalty!
    • 37' Tonga use it to take the ball into the Japan 22, kicking but then turning over the ball.
    • 36' Penalty to Tonga in their own half as Webb fails to roll away. Or that is the verdict - how he was supposed to in that bundle of bodies, I don't know.
    • 35' Japan again with it, Nicholas carrying - but he commits a foul and Tonga have the put-in at the scrum.
    • 34' Tonga have possession in their defensive right corner as this game continues to see plenty of turnover ball.
    • 33' Japan win a scrum inside the Tonga 22.
    • 32' PENALTY TONGA! 18-10 TONGA! Morath again kicks successfully from the left to consolidate their lead as Japan contemplate 10 minutes without their playmaker.
    • 31' Full-back Shaun Webb hacks clear football-style but does not get much distance on it and back come Tonga... as they reset Arlidge comes through in a clearly offside position to intercept! Yellow card for the No.10.
    • 30' Morath with a kick downfield that does not find touch but is awkward for Endo in the corner... he throws across the line to nobody and Japan are in trouble!
    • 29' PENALTY TONGA! 15-10 TONGA! This time they opt for a place kick and Morath sends it over.
    • 28' From the kick-off Tonga wing Sukanaivalu Hufanga is there to tackle - and his side have a penalty as they do not release him after he turns the ball over.
    • 27' Arlidge misses the kick, from the right side this time - as a result Tonga hold on to the lead.
    • 26' TRY JAPAN! 12-10 TONGA! Ryan Nicholas breaks through the defensive line as he comes across on to an Arlidge pass and once tackled, it takes three passes to put flanker Michael Leitch over in the corner!
    • 25' The ball is turned over on halfway and Japan have momentum...
    • 24' The ball is Tonga's once more as a brutal tackle allows them to steal and they are awarded the scrum.
    • 23' Japan patient as they work from the Tongan 22. Keen not to cede possession with another careless pass in the final third.
    • 22' Scrum to Japan as Tonga knock on after winning the ball back in the ruck.
    • 21' Japan now charging down the left. After a few phases, where Endo seeks to batter his way down the touchline, Arlidge sets it up in a more central position.
    • 20' Tonga's hopes of a counter-attacking try end when a penalty is awarded against them. As you often get when the lower-ranked nations compete in the World Cup, this is an entertaining free-flowing game of rugby.
    • 19' Japan have men over on the left and a try looks on the cards... intercepted! It was a handling error in fact and Siale Piutau carries it over halfway!
    • 18' Scrappy kick by Arlidge again, but Japan win possession nonetheless.
    • 17' CONVERSION TONGA! 12-5 TONGA! This time the Tongan conversion from fly-half Morath is good, but only just - in off the far post.
    • 16' TRY TONGA! 10-5 TONGA! Japan fail to deal with the kick-off and Tonga wrestle possession back - it is recycled and Moa brings it out to feed Tukulua Lokotui, who bundles over in the corner. Instant reply.
    • 15' Arlidge's kick is sweetly struck but just wide of the near post.
    • 14' TRY JAPAN! 5-5! There is "no reason" a try cannot be awarded to Kensuke Hatakeyama, even though the ball disappeared from view as the prop dragged is over the line - it was underneath him.
    • 13' Japan again win the lineout and attack the try-line. Are they over? No, Tonga hold them back... a Japanese player sneaks around the side in the ruck and it goes to the TMO.
    • 12' Wing Kosuke Endo is fed the ball and attacks the left corner... Tonga offside and Arlidge kicks easily into the corner from the penalty.
    • 11' Fly-half James Arlidge kicks to touch with a penalty to give Japan field position.
    • 10' Scrumdown on halfway after kick-off. Slow start from Japan as they look to finally win in this tournament.
    • 9' Tonga lost to Canada in this stadium - both sides have lost their opening two matches. Results and fixtures
    • 8' The conversion is missed by Kurt Morath of the team in red and white hoops.
    • 7' TRY TONGA! 5-0 TONGA! Ma'afu picks up at the back of the Tongan pack and this time has the ball grounded. The TMO is consulted, but he did not knock on in reaching out and putting the ball on the line with his forearm.
    • 5' Constant Tongan pressure at the start of this match. Another five-metre scrum... and they win a penalty from it. Again they choose to scrummage, with Japan warned that the next penalty will result in a yellow card.
    • 4' Ma'afu this time takes the ball on from the scrum and crosses, but is he held up? The video ref says no try.
    • 3' Scrum-half Taniela Moa picks and nips round the five-metre scrum but is halted at the line, Japan again holding firm in defence.
    • 2' Japan scramble it back across their line but the ball is turned over after a mishandle... and the penalty goes to Tonga. No.8 Viliami Ma'afu takes the tap and almost gets over the try-line!
    • 1' Tonga kick us off from left to right.
    • 08:30 Japan have won their last five games against Tonga, making this their best hope of ending a 20-year wait for a World Cup win. They last managed one in the 1991 tournament, against Zimbabwe - they have lost 16 on the trot.
    • 08:29 Tonga begin their Haka, looking mean. Haka pic
    • 08:28 This stadium has been rebuilt for the tournament and is now a multi-purpose venue. Read all about the ground and its location
    • 08:25 The referee is England's Dave Pearson - a relatively late bloomer. Which is probably the nicest way to describe an official... http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/06092011/58/world-cup-referee-dave-pearson.html
    • 08:20 Japan have a winning record against Tonga and are ranked two places higher by the IRB. Wednesday at the World Cup
    • 08:15 JAPAN TEAM - 15-Shaun Webb, 14-Kosuke Endo, 13-Alisi Tupuailai, 12-Ryan Nicholas, 11-Hirotoki Onozawa, 10-James Arlidge, 9-Fumiaki Tanaka, 8-Takashi Kikutani (captain), 7-Michael Leitch, 6-Itaru Taniguchi, 5-Toshizumi Kitagawa, 4-Luke Thompson, 3-Kensuke Hatakeyama, 2-Shota Horie, 1-Hisateru Hirashima; replacements: 16-Yusuke Aoki, 17-Nozomu Fujita, 18-Hitoshi Ono, 19-Sione Talikavili Vatuvei, 20-Atsushi Hiwasa, 21-Takehisa Usuzuki, 22-Murray Williams
    • 08:10 TONGA TEAM - 15-Vungakoto Lilo, 14-Fetu'u Vainikolo, 13-Siale Piutau, 12-Alipate Fatafehi, 11-Sukanaivalu Hufanga, 10-Kurt Morath, 9-Taniela Moa, 8-Viliami Ma'afu, 7-Sione Vaiomo'unga, 6-Sione Kalamafoni, 5-Paino Hehea, 4-Tukulua Lokotui, 3-Taufa'ao Filise, 2-Aleki Lutui (captain), 1-Soane Tonga'uiha; replacements: 16-Aloisio Ma'asi, 17-Alisona Taumalolo, 18-Halani Aulika, 19-Joseph Tu'ineau, 20-Samiu Vahafolau, 21-Samisoni Fisilau, 22-Andrew Ma'ilei
    • 08:05 Have a look at both sides' pre-World Cup team guide to acquaint yourselves with their line-ups and World Cup history. Team-by-team guide
    • 08:00 Welcome to live coverage as Tonga face Japan at Okara Park in Whangarei in Group A of the World Cup.
  • Summary

    Tonga versus Japan
    Ma'afu 7’, Lokotui 15’, Vainikolo 54’ Tries Hatakeyama 14’, Leitch 26’, Tupuailei 63’
    Morath 17’, 56’ Conversions  
    Morath 30’, 32’, 50’, 68’ Penalties Webb 40’
      Drops  

Live Team Line-Up

  • Tonga

    Manager: Isitolo Maka

    On the Field

    • Tonga'uiha Substitution Out (41′)
    • Lutui Substitution Out (48′)
    • Filise Substitution In (63′) Substitution Out (72′)
    • Lokotui Try Yellow Card
    • Hehea Substitution Out (65′)
    • Kalamafoni
    • Vaiomounga Substitution Out (63′)
    • Ma'afu Try
    • Moa Substitution Out (74′)
    • Morath
    • Hufanga Substitution Out (68′)
    • Fatafehi
    • Piutau
    • Vainikolo Try
    • Lilo

    Subs

    • Vahafolau Substitution In (72′)
    • Malei Substitution In (68′)
    • Fisilau Substitution In (74′)
    • Ma'asi Substitution In (48′)
    • Taumalolo Substitution In (41′)
    • Aulika Substitution In (41′) Yellow Card
    • Tu'ineau Substitution In (65′)

    Injured

    None

    Suspended

    None

  • Japan

    Manager: John Kirwan

    On the Field

    • Hirashima
    • Horie
    • Hatakeyama Try Substitution Out (69′)
    • Thompson
    • Kitagawa Substitution Out (57′)
    • Taniguchi Substitution Out (53′)
    • Leitch Try
    • Kikutani
    • Tanaka Substitution Out (52′)
    • Arlidge Yellow Card
    • Onozawa
    • Nicholas
    • Tupuailei Try
    • Endo
    • Webb

    Subs

    • Ono Substitution In (57′)
    • Fujita Substitution In (69′)
    • Hiwasa Substitution In (52′)
    • Usuzuki
    • Aoki
    • Williams
    • Vatuvei Substitution In (53′)

    Injured

    None

    Suspended

    None

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