Home Rugby World Cup 2019 Match Report – Kotaro Matsushima hat-trick give Japan winning start as host

Match Report – Kotaro Matsushima hat-trick give Japan winning start as host


Japan had to work hard in that first half but was just too good for the Russians with Kotaro Matsushima scoring a hat-trick of tries.

At the end they picked up the win and a bonus point to start their campaign beating Russia at the end 30-10.

It was Russia that put huge pressure on the host from the kick-off forcing a lineout which they got a penalty from. Although they did not get any points from it they still kept the Japanese in their own half.

From a kick down field Russia kicked it back and a mistake from Japan gave Kirill Golosnitskiy the first try of 2019 World Cup.

Japan answered back the best possible way in speeding up the game and got to send Kotaro Matsushima over the line.

The conversion was not over so that left Russia still leading 7-5 after 12 minutes.

Russias have come to the match to play and although it looked like they were getting out of steam they stayed in the match counter attacking each time they got the ball in hand.

Japan was also making some ordinary mistakes and poor judgement on attack kicking the ball away with some players on the outside to spread it wide.

It was a struggle for Japan but after a disallowed try Kotaro Matsushima he got over for his second just before halftime.

This gave the Japanese a well deserve lead going into the break.

Japan had a great start to the second half getting a penalty over first and then former Cheetahs Pieter Labuschagne ripped the ball to run in Japan third try of the match.

This extended their lead to 20-7.

Russia had a good period playing in Japan twenty two but some desperate defence from Japan kept them out from scoring their second try of the match.

Russia pulled 3 back through a penalty by Yury Kushnarev. This made the lead 20-10 after 60 minutes of play.

Yu Tamura kicked another penalty over for the host nation and extend the lead again to 13 points.

Kotaro Matsushima got his hat-trick of tries on the 70th minute when Russia kicked a ball down field which was quickly spread to the speedster to get over for a 30-10 lead.

That was the final points of the game as Japan open their campaign with a good win in Pool A.


Japan: Tries – Kotaro Matsushima, Kotaro Matsushima, Pieter Labuschagne Conversions – Yu Tamura, Rikiya Matsuda Penalties – Yu Tamura(2)

Russia: Tries – Kirill Golosnitskiy Conversions – Yury Kushnarev Penalties – Yury Kushnarev


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