Japan One Win Away From 2015 Rugby World Cup

Japan is one win away from securing qualification for the 2015 Rugby World Cup after recording a comprehensive 62-5 victory over South Korea on Saturday.

The Cherry Blossoms, having already scored big wins over the Philippines and Sri Lanka, went into the game as clear favourites and dominated from the outset to race away to a 34-0 lead at half-time.

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South Korea had more possession in the second half, but was unable to take advantage and Japan was still able to dominate the scoring in the second half; with Akihito Yamada scoring four impressive tries.

Despite the comprehensive victory, Japan coach Eddie Jones was not wholly satisfied with the performance and is expecting an improved effort from his side when they take on Hong Kong for direct entry into the World Cup next weekend.

“We set ourselves the target of winning the game in the first 20 minutes and we did that,” Jones said after the game.

“I am completely happy with the result but I am not happy with the way we played in the second half.

“The concentration levels of the team and individuals dropped

“Our decision making wasn’t great and individuals were making simple mistakes at the end.

“Unfortunately they are habits they pick up playing Japanese rugby and we are working on getting rid of them.”

The winner of the clash between Japan and Hong Kong will receive the one automatic qualifying position given to Asian nations, while the loser will take on Uruguay for a place in the recharge semi-final where they will meet either Germany or Russia or an African nation.

Hong Kong are taking an undefeated record into their clash with Japan and captain Nick Hewson said that the side is pumped up to book a place in the 2015 World Cup draw.

“Our dream is alive,” Hewson said after Hong Kong defeated South Korea last weekend.

“We have booked the repêchage spot for Asia, but this is not enough.

“For certain we will have a crack at Japan in our final game.”

Japan are currently available at the lucrative odds of $1501 to win the 2015 World Cup, with the New Zealand All Blacks clear favourites to defend their crown won in 2011.

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