The 2019 Rugby World Cup began with a little surprise, then a big sigh of relief for Japan. The host country, which faced Russia for its entry in the running, was scared but finally ensured the essential: a boosted success (30-10, four tries scored) that allows him to preserve his chances of qualification for the quarterfinals of the tournament.
In the face of modest Russia, 20th world nation, the Brave Blossoms took more than half an hour to get going. Unclear, clumsy, they even cashed the very first test of the competition after only five minutes of play. The fault in the back Tupou, author of a big mistake at the reception of a candle, which let go Golosnitskiy to the test under the dumbfounded eyes of Ajinomoto Stadium supporters (5th, 0-7).
After ten minutes of suffering, Japan eventually found a little of its game, and the revolt was led by the excellent Matsushima, untenable on the right wing. He first crossed the test line before the quarter of an hour of play (12th, 5-7), before reoffending a little later (35th). A new test finally refused by Mr. Owens after watching the video, but did not prevent the 14 Brave Blossoms to sign a double before the break (38th, 12-7).
Matsushima sees triple
At the return of the locker room, the Japanese have finally pressed the accelerator. Tamura first gave them a little more air at the foot (45th, 15-7), before Labuschagné scored the third try of his own on a torn balloon (48th, 20-7).
But even under cover, the men of New Zealand's Jamie Joseph continued to suffer, and Kushnarev even managed to bring his own to ten points, penalty (60th, 20-10). Insufficient, however, to put Russia completely in the game, especially as Tamura has also taken a chance in stride (64th, 23-10).
And the liberation of the Japanese finally came at the end of the match, on a counter ball concluded by the inevitable Matsushima, who offered a hat-trick and ensured the point of offensive bonus (70th, 30-10) .
Completed contract, therefore, for the organizing country of the 2019 World Cup, which is full of points after this first game, even if the astonishing resistance of the Russian Bear will not go unnoticed. All the more so because they owe their presence in Asia only to the disqualification on the green carpet of Spain, Romania and Belgium, all removed for having lined up non-eligible players during the playoffs. The hell that was predicted to the men of the Gallois Lyn Jones did not materialize, and all the better for the suspense of this first game of the World-2019.