Fri 6 Sep 2019 | 05:28

Player ratings: Wake-up call

Player ratings: Wake-up call
Fri 6 Sep 2019 | 05:28
Player ratings: Wake-up call
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OPINION: World Cup hosts Japan were given a timely reminder that raw emotion alone won’t guarantee them success.

Hyped up as another great occasion for the Brave Blossoms, they were brought down to earth – as South Africa beat them 41-7 in Kumagaya on Friday.

Replays of their last encounter – which finished 34-32 in Japan’s favour in Brighton four years ago – were played in the Boks’ hotel foyer this week, before the Boks exacted their six tries to one revenge.

Jan de Koning rates the Japanese players!

15 William Tupou:
Struggled to cope with the bombardment of high balls, but managed a couple of decent runs – managing 76 metres in his nine dashes.
5/10

14 Kotaro Matsushima:
Not many opportunities and attack and was exposed by Makazola Mapimpi on more than one occasion. Showed his pace when he eventually received the ball in open space.
4/10

13 Timothy Lafaele:
Struggled to breach the Boks’ defensive line – managing just 14 metres in nine runs – and was also quiet on defence.
5/10

12 Ryoto Nakamura:
Played of a distribution role, missed as many tackles as he made and conceded a couple of turnovers.
4/10

11 Kenki Fukuoka:
His game lasted just four minutes, before he limped off with an injury.

10 Yu Tamura:
Had one decent break, but otherwise just shuffled the ball sideways. Missed twice as many tackles as he made and conceded a couple of turnovers.
4/10

9 Kaito Shigeno:
Struggled to cope with the energetic nature of Francois de Klerk’s game.
5/10

8 Amanaki Mafi:
Looked strong with ball in hand, but found the Bok defensive wall near-impenetrable – left the field early in the second half.
6/10

7 Pieter Labuschagne:
Energetic, but struggled to make a real impact. Had one decent run and managed just 56 metres from his 10 runs. The most productive defender in the Japan team, 14 tackles.
7/10

6 Michael Leitch (captain):
Was involved all over the field – working at breakdowns and carrying on the wing. But he was quiet on defence.
6/10

5 Uwe Helu:
Quiet day at the office – making just six metres in his nine runs, making just three tackles and conceding a turnover.
5/10

4 Luke Thompson:
Apart from Labuschagne, Japan’s most productive player – nine carries and 11 tackles.
6/10

3 Koo Ji-won:
Solid in the scrums and made a handful of carries. Otherwise quiet.
5/10

2 Atsushi Sakate:
Did the basics well and worked hard on defence, making nine tackles.
6/10

1 Keita Inagaki:
Another player that needs to improve his workrate outside the set pieces.
5/10

Replacements:

16 Takuya Kitade (on for Sakate, 71st minute):
Not enough time to be rated.

17 Isileli Nakajima (on for Inagaki, 60th minute):
Made no real impact and seemed to just plod along, making a couple of tackles and a few carries.
4/10

18 Asaeli Ai Valu (on for Koo, 41st minute):
Made just five metres in his five carries, made one tackle, missed a tackle and conceded a turnover.
3/10

19 James Moore (on for Helu, 41st minute):
One of the more productive replacements – a handful of carries and four tackles, without missing one).
6/10

20 Yoshitaka Tokunaga (on for Mafi, 45th minute):
Was strong with the ball in hand, but conceded a couple of turnovers.
5/10

21 Yutaka Nagare (on for Shigeno, 53rd minute):
Just a link behind the scrum, not even making a tackle.
4/10

22 Rikiya Matsuda (on for Moeakiola, 66th minute):
Not enough time to be rated.

23 Ataata Moeakiola (on for Fukuoka, 4th minute).
Had a few decent runs, with 59 metres from his 13 runs. But three turnovers cost his team
5/10

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Player Ratings: Wake-up Call - Japan | Rugby365