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In their opening World Cup match, Japan secured a 42-12 victory over World Cup debutants Chile. The Brave Blossoms, who reached the quarter-finals in the previous tournament held in their home country, faced a spirited challenge from Chile.
Despite a promising start by the South American team, with Rodrigo Fernandez scoring a try in the seventh minute, Japan quickly responded, with Folau Fakatava breaking through tackles to score.
As the game progressed, Japan extended their lead with tries from Jone Naikabula and Fakatava’s second try just before halftime, putting them ahead 21-12.
Chile, showing determination, managed to reduce the deficit with Alfonso Escobar scoring early in the second half. However, Japan sealed the victory with Michael Leitch’s try in the 53rd minute, Ryoto Nakamura’s impressive sidestep past a defender, and Warner Dearns’ late try.
While Japan secured the win, Chile’s World Cup debut was marked by their spirited performance and two tries, leaving them with their pride intact. The match showcased both teams’ competitive spirit and set the stage for an exciting tournament ahead.
Pool D | Japan 42:12 Chile
TRIES Amato Fakatava (8′, 41′), Jone Naikabula (30′), Michael Leitch (53′), Ryoto Nakamura (71′), Warner Dearns (79′)
CONV Rikiya Matsuda (10′, 31′, 42′, 54′, 73′, 81′)
TRIES Rodrigo Fernandez (6′), Alfonso Escobar (48′)
CONV Santiago Videla (7′)
Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse
Man of the match:
Amato Fakatava (Japan)
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