Japan beats Italy 34-17 in first of 2 tests

Japan's Amanaki Lelei Mafi, center, scores a try in the first half of a rugby match against Italy in Oita, southern Japan Saturday, June 9, 2018. (Kyodo News via AP)
Japan's Amanaki Lelei Mafi, third left, is celebrated his try in the first half of a rugby match against Italy in Oita, southern Japan Saturday, June 9, 2018. (Kyodo News via AP)
Japan's Kenki Fukuoka scores a try in the first half of a rugby match against Italy in Oita, southern Japan Saturday, June 9, 2018. (Kyodo News via AP)
Japan's Kotaro Matsushima scores a try in the last half of a rugby match against Italy in Oita, southern Japan Saturday, June 9, 2018. Lomano Lava Lemeki and Kotaro Matsushima scored second-half tries on Saturday to lead Japan to a 34-17 win over Italy in the first of two tests, Japan's first win over Italy in five years. (Kyodo News via AP)
Japan's Kenki Fukuoka, second right, is congratulated his try in the first half of a rugby match against Italy in Oita, southern Japan Saturday, June 9, 2018. (Kyodo News via AP)

OITA, Japan — Lomano Lava Lemeki and Kotaro Matsushima scored second-half tries on Saturday to lead Japan to a 34-17 win over Italy in the first of two tests. It was Japan's first win against Italy in five years.

Lemeki gave Japan a 25-17 lead on the hour mark and Matsushima ran in Japan's fourth try five minutes later to widen the advantage to 32-17. Yu Tamura added a conversion to complete the scoring for the hosts.

The two countries will play again on June 16 in Kobe, Japan.

Italy took a 7-0 lead on an early try by Tiziano Pasquali that was converted by Tommaso Allan but Japan responded with tries by Amanaki Lelei Mafi and Kenki Fukuoka for a halftime lead of 17-14.

The hosts are using the two tests to tune up for the 2019 World Cup in Japan, the ninth edition of the sport's showcase global event and the first to be held in Asia.

Flyhalf Tamura kicked 14 points, missing only one shot at goal.

Fullback Matsushima crossed for Japan's fourth try in the 66th minute and Tamura completed the scoring with his last conversion.

Italy captain Leonardo Ghiraldini conceded his team had been outplayed by Japan.

"We were not competitive enough today but full credit to Japan for the victory," Ghiraldini said.

You may also interested in

Djokovic wins a record fourth Shanghai Masters...

Oct 14, 2018

Novak Djokovic won a record fourth Shanghai Masters title with a 6-3, 6-4 win over 13th-seeded...

Bolt predicts his world records could stand for...

Sep 5, 2017

Usain Bolt says he has no regrets about retiring and is confident his world records will stand for...

Kerber ousts local favorite Osaka at Pan-Pacific...

Sep 18, 2017

Seventh-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany beat local favorite Naomi Osaka 6-3, 6-4 on Monday to...

Ceremony held to mark 2 years before 2019 Rugby...

Sep 20, 2017

Sports fans gathered in Tokyo's Shibuya entertainment district on Wednesday to mark two years until...

Muguruza beats Puig to reach Pan Pacific...

Sep 20, 2017

Garbine Muguruza began her reign as No. 1 with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Monica Puig to earn a spot in...

About Us

Frontal Report is an emerging leader in all forms of media. We aim to be the leading news brand for readers around the world.

Contact us: sales[at]frontalreport.com

Subscribe Now!