|Eire (19) 39|
|Tries: Farrell, McCloskey, Bealham, van der Flier, Stockdale Cons: Carbery 4 Pens: Carbery 2|
|Japan (17) 31|
|Tries: Leitch, Lafaele, Fifita, Saito Cons: Tamura 4 Pen: Tamura|
Eire got here out on high of a high-scoring, back-and-forth contest in opposition to a relentlessly inventive Japan in Dublin.
The three,000 followers returning to the Aviva Stadium for the primary time since February 2020 had been handled to 9 tries in a sport the place assault beat defence at nearly each flip.
Whereas the scoreline mirrored shortcomings in each groups, there was a lot to get pleasure from as Eire’s extra medical show noticed them deservedly take the win.
Chris Farrell, Stuart McCloskey and Finlay Bealham scored the hosts’ first half tries with Josh van der Flier and Jacob Stockdale extending their lead after the break.
Joey Carbery, on his first Eire look since their World Cup quarter-final defeat, performed the total 80 minutes and kicked 14 factors on a lovely return to the worldwide fold with Munster team-mate Gavin Coombes coming off the bench to make his debut.
Japan, and their seemingly limitless field of methods, scored 4 tries however light within the closing quarter of the sport, permitting Eire to handle the conclusion of the competition.
Small margins favour scrappy Eire
Regardless of going 20 months with out a aggressive fixture, Japan’s want to play fast-paced, adventurous rugby has not waned since they received the hearts of their very own nation and numerous others across the globe on the 2019 World Cup.
The range and intent introduced again recollections of that well-known win over Eire when the perimeters met in Shizuoka, nevertheless in Dublin their accuracy fell brief at instances, with Eire additionally responsible of too many unforced errors and a excessive penalty depend in a scrappy however entertaining contest.
Farrell crashed over from 5 metres for the opener earlier than Eire misinterpret the Japanese restart, coughing up a penalty that resulted in Michael Leitch going over from a line-out maul.
Six minutes later an excellent Japan transfer ended with Timothy Lafaele operating beneath the posts from a phenomenal line, just for the rating to be chalked off attributable to Yu Tamura nudging the ultimate cross ahead.
Eire, too, performed some pleasing rugby with their second strive coming off a well-executed transfer that unleashed Hugo Keenan with Peter O’Mahony taking up to offer a one-handed offload for McCloskey to remain inbounds and contact down.
One other botched restart almost noticed Eire once more immediately give up their lead however Tamura’s penalty got here off the upright. That was earlier than Japan turned on the aptitude as soon as extra, with Siosaia Fifita accumulating Tamura’s dink throughout the sector to feed Lafaele who stepped and scored.
The Irish had been struggling to discover a rhythm, with the line-out that was so dominant within the Six Nations malfunctioning. However they had been rewarded for sensible, direct play with the final act of the half as Bealham’s rating put the hosts two factors forward on the break.
Japan tire in closing quarter
To the delight of any impartial watching, the interval didn’t break up the circulation of the competition with Japan putting in model 4 minutes after the restart, catching Eire napping on the brief aspect earlier than a deft Tamura grubber kick bounced completely for Fifita to slip in.
As soon as once more Eire’s response was swift and direct, as they continued to hold up the center with Jamison Gibson-Park sniping to inside two metres of the road permitting van der Flier to pick-and-go for the rating.
When Stockdale went over within the nook three minutes later to lastly give the hosts respiratory area it appeared as if Japan may need ran out of steam, just for the guests to capitalise on a unfastened Carbery kick to flood the Irish blindside, sending Naoto Saito by means of to maneuver again to inside simply two factors.
Nonetheless after that rating the guests misplaced their edge, as Eire dominated the ultimate 20 minutes with two Carbery penalties taking them right into a two-score lead and denying Japan the motivation to throw warning to the wind one final time.
Eire will now flip their attentions to the USA subsequent weekend, the place quite a few gamers are anticipated to make their worldwide debut in entrance of 6,000 followers.
Eire: Keenan; Stockdale, Farrell, McCloskey, Larmour; Carbery, Gibson-Park; Kilcoyne, Kelleher, Bealham, Ja Ryan (capt), Dillane, O’Mahony, Van der Flier, Doris.
Replacements: Herring, E Byrne, Jo Ryan, Baird, Coombes, Casey, Burns, Daly.
Japan: Matsushima; Masirewa, Lafaele, Nakamura, Fifita; Tamura, Saito; Inagaki, Sakate, Koo, Van der Walt, Moore, Leitch (capt), Labuschagne, Himeno.
Replacements: Horikoshi, Millar, Ai Valu, Cornelsen, Tatafu, Shigeno, Matsuda, Gates.