Category Archives: Japan

Flying Fijians have landed

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The Flying Fijians acknowledge the crowd after beating Georgia 45-10 at the Hanazono Stadium. Photo: Yahoo

The Flying Fijians have landed back home to a mild reception after a mediocre Rugby World Cup tournament finishing third in their Pool D with Wales topping the five teams.

After fans got hyped up with the big names in the team, a mixed bag of results with warm up matches with the Maori All Blacks and Pacific Nations Cup, there was high hopes and foreboding thoughts simultaneously.

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Filed under 2019 Rugby World Cup, Fiji, Flying Fijians, Georgia, Japan, Pacific Nations Cup, Pool D, Super Rugby, Uruguay, Wallabies

Volavola dictates from the pocket

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Fiji’s left winger Semi Radradra loses an aerial battle against his Georgian counterpart. Photo: World Rugby

After four years of being groomed in the pocket of intense pressure, coach John McKee is beginning to see the fruits of nurturing and belief in fly-half Ben Volavola in the dismantling of the strong Georgians with a 45-10 scoreline yesterday in their third match of the Rugby World Cup.

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Filed under 2019 Rugby World Cup, Fiji, Flying Fijians, Focus on rwc, Georgia, Japan, John McKee, Rugby World Cup

Cavubati, Nakarawa to play locks in RWC opener

The pairing of Tevita Cavubati and Leone Nakarawa as locks for the opener against Australia is a foregone conclusion after manning those berths towards the end part of the Pacific Nations Cup and Tonga in the Pasifika challenge in Auckland.

Flying Fijians lock Tevita Cavubati reacts after Fiji scored a try against Wales in the 2015 RWC. Photo: Stuff

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Filed under 2019 Rugby World Cup, Fiji, Flying Fijians, Focus on rwc, Japan, Opinion, Rugby World Cup, Wallabies, William Webb-Ellis Cup

Fiji or Japan to win 2019 RWC

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The Brave Blossoms celebrate after upsetting the Springboks in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Photo: Getty Images

 

Just like the violent tsunami that hit Kamaishi, the aftereffects of the 2011 great Sendai 9.1 earthquake, a Tier 2 nation will win the Japanese Rugby World Cup after the final at the International Stadium in Yokohama on November 2.

Either hosts Japan or Fiji will win the number IX showcase event after Tier One nations New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and England dominated proceedings in the past eight tournaments.

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Filed under All Blacks, Argentina, Australia, England, Fiji, Flying Fijians, Japan, Opinion, Pacific Nations Cup, Rugby World Cup, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Springboks, Wales, Wallabies

Bone crunching tackles, missing element

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Former Flying Fijian centre Viliame Satala  tackles English skipper Lawrence Dallaglio in a 1999 Test match. Photo: Alamy

One of the trade mark weapons that the Flying Fijians seemed to shy away from on Saturday was the thunderous timed tackles that usually disrupted the Brave Blossom’s momentum.

The modern defensive patterns that seem effective in minimising secondary phase attacks is well and good, but Fiji’s main weapon against the nimble, rapid fire rucks by the feisty Japanese in the past was the hard tackles.

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Filed under ANZ Stadium Suva, Fijian players, Japan, Pacific Nations Cup, Rugby World Cup, World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup

Blossoms capture Flying Fijians

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Brave Blossoms’ Kotaro Matsushima scores the second try against the Flying Fijians at the Kamaishi Stadium on Saturday.  Photo: World Rugby

The Flying Fijians were ambushed by an animated Brave Blossoms on Saturday at a packed Kamaishi Stadium signalling a warning to all opponents in the Pacific Nations Cup and the Rugby World Cup to beware.

The Japanese fired all cylinders unravelling an unprepared Fiji defence that came undone with crisp passing, daring advances and quick fire rucks by the Japanese forwards and backs.

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Filed under Fiji, Flying Fijians, Japan, Maori All Blacks, Pacific Nations Cup, Rugby World Cup, World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup

McKee retains Maori victors

Forwards Semi Kunatani, Apisalome Ratuniyarawa and Kalivati Tawake defend against the Maori All Blacks at the ANZ Stadium in Suva. Photo: New Zealand Herald

The squad which dominated proceedings against the Maori All Blacks in Suva a fortnight ago has been retained for the opening World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup match against Japan.

Two changes in local loose head prop Eroni Mawi and winger Patrick Osbourne have been injected into the 27-10 victors with a few changes on the bench.

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Filed under Flying Fijians, Japan, World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup

Beware, the Kamaishi resurgence factor

Members of the Flying Fijians need to have their eyes wide open in their first match against Japan in the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup on Saturday.

The Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium . . . named after the town's recovery from the 2011 tsunami that destroyed most of the area. Photo: World Rugby

The Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium where the match has been scheduled is the same venue for the Flying Fijians second assignment in the Rugby World Cup against Uruguay on September 25. Continue reading

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Filed under Canada, Fiji, Fiji Rugby Union, Flying Fijians, Focus on rwc, Japan, Manu Samoa, Pacific Nations Cup, Rugby World Cup, Samoa, Tonga, USA, World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup

Motivated to help 2019 edition

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The William Webb-Ellis Cup will be up for grabs at the Japanese showcase: Planet Rugby

The 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan is about two months away and Flying Fijians coach John McKee has a plateful deciding who will make the final squad to the Land of the Rising Sun plus the team to face the Maori All Blacks on Saturday in Suva. Continue reading

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Filed under Fiji, Fiji Rugby Union, Focus on rwc, International, Japan, John McKee, Maori All Blacks, New Zealand, Pacific Nations Cup, Rugby World Cup, RWC, Top 14, William Webb-Ellis Cup, World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup

Jones hails ‘heroes’ after landmark tournament

Departing head coach salutes Brave Blossoms’ best RWC performance as they bow out against USA with a third victory

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Japanese coach Eddie Jones signs autographs for fans after his team the Cherry Blossoms defeated the USA 28-18. Photo: World Rugby

GLOUCESTER – Eddie Jones could not conceal his delight after Japan capped a memorable RWC 2015 and completed a perfect send-off for the departing head coach with a 28-18 Pool B victory over USA at Kingsholm.

The Brave Blossoms became the first team in the tournament’s history to win three matches but miss out on qualification to the quarter-finals and Jones was full of praise for the team’s national “heroes”, who have made the world of rugby stand up and take notice since their opening tournament victory over South Africa.

“I want everything about this win today to be about the team,” Jones (pictured) said in his post-match press conference. “It’s not about my last game – all the players deserve credit.

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Filed under Japan, Rugby World Cup