Pacific Nations Cup: Japan v Tonga Preview

International Rugby: South Africa v Wales Preview

Japan will be looking to make it back-to-back Pacific Nations Cup wins when they take on Tonga on Saturday the 3rd of August. 

The second Round 2 match of the 2019 Pacific Nations Cup will see a mightily impressive Japanese outfit take on Tonga. The World Cup hosts got their campaign off to a flying start with a 13 point win over the Fijians. They will be looking for a similarly polished display against a Tongan side who look ripe for the taking.

Japan v Tonga
Saturday 3 August
Hanazono Rugby Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)



*Odds to be added upon release

Jamie Joseph's side got their campaign off to an ideal start by beating tournament favourites Fiji 21-34. While Joseph's and his coaching staff will be mightily pleased with the result, it will be the manner in which his team played that will have left the former Waikato Chiefs mentor grinning from ear to ear.

The Japanese forward pack laid a solid foundation for their backline to work from, and boy did the outside backs use this base to good effect. Smart angles and great decision making leading to Japan scoring five tries to Fijis three. The star of the show was South African born Kotaro Matsushima who grabbed two five-pointers.

It was not the best of opening weekends for the Tongans who went down 25-17 to arch-rivals Samoa. The game was played in atrocious conditions which should have favoured the Tongans who pride themselves on having a solid setpiece. This wasn't the case, however, as their big men failed to lay a good foundation for their backline to operate off.

he Tongans have an uphill battle to climb this weekend as the Japanese side look really good and weather conditions are likely to be ideal for running rugby.

Verdict: Japan (-)
If the Japanese can match the intensity levels of last weekend then they should have no problems seeing off Tonga by more than 15 points. 

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