Japan IRB Junior World Rugby Win Benefits Hong Kong
Japan IRB Junior World Rugby Win Benefits Hong Kong
Rugby Union—IRB JWRT Hong Kong
Japan celebrate winning the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2014 at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Japan celebrate winning the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2014 at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Davit Papavadze scores Georgia’s final try in their fifth place playoff match against Namibia in the IRB JWRT at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. Georgia won the match 46-17. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Davit Papavadze scores Georgia’s final try in their fifth place playoff match against Namibia in the IRB JWRT at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. Georgia won the match 46-17. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Full Back Scott Deans scores USA’s first try in their third place playoff match against Uruguay in the IRB JWRT 2014 at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. USA won the very close encounter 26-25. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Full Back Scott Deans scores USA’s first try in their third place playoff match against Uruguay in the IRB JWRT 2014 at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. USA won the very close encounter 26-25. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Titi Lamositele shows his strength in the USA-Uruguay third place playoff match in the IRB JWRT 2014 at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. USA won the very close encounter 26-25. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Titi Lamositele shows his strength in the USA-Uruguay third place playoff match in the IRB JWRT 2014 at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. USA won the very close encounter 26-25. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

USA’s Ben Cima adds penalty points to move their score onto 8-nil in the third place playoff match against Uruguay in the IRB JWRT 2014 at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. USA won the very close encounter 26-25. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

USA’s Ben Cima adds penalty points to move their score onto 8-nil in the third place playoff match against Uruguay in the IRB JWRT 2014 at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. USA won the very close encounter 26-25. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Uruguay charge towards the try line in their third place playoff match against USA in the IRB JWRT 2014 at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. USA won the very close encounter 26-25. (Bill Cox?Epoch Times)

Uruguay charge towards the try line in their third place playoff match against USA in the IRB JWRT 2014 at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. USA won the very close encounter 26-25. (Bill Cox?Epoch Times)

Uruguay’s Gonzalo Solo held up by USA’a Ben Cima and colleague during their second half fight-back in the third place IRB JWRT playoff match at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. Earlier in the match they were losing 20-3, but lost the match narrowly 26-25. (Bill Cox?Epoch Times)

Uruguay’s Gonzalo Solo held up by USA’a Ben Cima and colleague during their second half fight-back in the third place IRB JWRT playoff match at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. Earlier in the match they were losing 20-3, but lost the match narrowly 26-25. (Bill Cox?Epoch Times)

Uruguay’s Rodrigo Bocking scores to reduce the deficit to 1-point (26-25) after 35 minutes of the second half in their third place playoff match against USA in the IRB JWRT 2014 at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. Uruguay came back strongly in the second half, but USA won the very close encounter 26-25. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Uruguay’s Rodrigo Bocking scores to reduce the deficit to 1-point (26-25) after 35 minutes of the second half in their third place playoff match against USA in the IRB JWRT 2014 at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. Uruguay came back strongly in the second half, but USA won the very close encounter 26-25. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Japan’s Captain Rikiya Matsuda runs for the line against Tonga in the Final of the IRB JWRT 2014 at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. Japan won the match 35-10 to book their place in the IRB Junior World Championship 2015. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Japan’s Captain Rikiya Matsuda runs for the line against Tonga in the Final of the IRB JWRT 2014 at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. Japan won the match 35-10 to book their place in the IRB Junior World Championship 2015. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Japan’s Keisuke Moriya in attack mode during their IRB JWRT Final 2014 against Tonga at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. Japan won the match 35-10 to book their place in the IRB Junior World Championship 2015. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Japan’s Keisuke Moriya in attack mode during their IRB JWRT Final 2014 against Tonga at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. Japan won the match 35-10 to book their place in the IRB Junior World Championship 2015. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Tonga on the attack during their IRB JWRT Final 2014 against Japan at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. Japan won the match 35-10 to book their place in the IRB Junior World Championship 2015. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Tonga on the attack during their IRB JWRT Final 2014 against Japan at Hong Kong Football Club Ground on Saturday April 19, 2014. Japan won the match 35-10 to book their place in the IRB Junior World Championship 2015. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

Japan beat Tonga in the Final of the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy on Saturday April 19 to book a place in the 2015 Junior World Rugby Championship (JWRC), for the first time since the new format competition started in 2008.

As a result of their elevation, Japan will therefore not take part in the 2015 JWRT Qualifying stage – improving Hong Kong’s chances of a repeat entry in the JWRT in 2015 as they will contest the Asia place with South Korea, the only other Asian country participating in the competition.

Japan played an almost flawless game against Tonga in the Final with a well organised, disciplined and forceful display of rugby to win the match 35-10. Although Tonga put up a spirited performance, they were not given the time or space to put on a repeat of their performance over the USA.

Meanwhile, the Japanese marking was fast and sure footed, catching and distribution was well-executed and they displayed power and good speed when the breakthroughs came.

Tonga booked their Final’s place by edging out No-1 seeds USA 28-22. This result put both teams on 10 points and by winning the head-to-head Tonga finished at the top of Pool-A.

Japan, on the other hand, won 2-out-of-3 pool matches and performed well enough to pick up 4-additional bonus points to put them on 12 points. Uruguay their main rivals for the top position in Pool-B were denied a spot in the finals by Canada coming back from 13-18 to draw 18-all. Uruguay failed to score bonus points in the other matches leaving them on 10 points.

The match between USA and Uruguay for third place was closely fought, ending in a 26-25 win for USA – in which tempers boiled over right at the end of play. USA were ahead 20-3 after 30 minutes of the first-half, but only managed to add two penalties from that point on; whereas, Uruguay ran in four trys and one conversion to close the gap.

In the fifth position play-off match, Georgia started strongly against Namibia running in two converted trys and a penalty to lead 17-nil after 20 minutes and continued their dominating form to finish the game 46-17.

Hong Kong put up a great display for the home crowd in the seventh place play-off – pushing Canada to the limit – but it was Canada who came back after being 21-10 down at half-time and 30-19 down mid-way through the second half. Canada, playing with 14 men for most of the match – after having Nathan Yanagiya red-carded for stamping on an opponent (an incident that was labelled a low-end offence by the disciplinary hearing)—finished the match well to claw back the deficit and win the match 30-33 to take seventh place.

Hong Kong picked up two trys, a conversion and three penalties in the first-half, then cashed in with three penalties in the second period. Hong Kong’s place and goal kicking was particularly impressive, nailing almost all of the penalties and pushing the team up field with some superb place kicks.

2014 JWRC

The 2014 JWRC will be contested by Argentina, Australia, England, Italy, Fiji, France, Ireland, Wales, New Zealand, Samoa, Scotland and South Africa in New Zealand, June 2-20. The bottom-ranked team will be relegated to the Trophy competition making way for Japan to join in 2015.

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