International Rugby: 2018 Japan v New Zealand Test Match: 1st Half Review

When Hendrick Tui joined incorrectly with the ruck, Richie Mo’unga capitalized the penalty kick.

New Zealand may have the upper hand two minutes into the game.

Though, Jordie Barrett’s clearout failed to go into Japan’s way.

That’s when Samuela Anisa fumbled before he touched down the first TRY for Japan.

Yu Tamura added the two extra points via the conversion kick.

Japan 7-3 New Zealand

Japan’s defense this time worked when Shunsuke Nunomaki collapsed New Zealand driving maul.

Thus helped Japan win the turnover with the scrum.

Although, Nehe Milder-Skudder ran a great line past the halfway line from their 22-meter line.

Matt Procter may have fallen short through a tackle from Japan’s No.8 of Michael Leitch.

But Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi helped spread towards the left where Dane Coles put New Zealand back in business.

Richie Mo’unga again kicked between the sticks nicely to add two extra points.

Japan 7-10 New Zealand

Nearly halfway into the 1st Half, New Zealand added the 2nd TRY.

Richie Mo’unga made a flat inside line with the fantastic footwork which proved too easy to execute.

Not only he completed the 1st phase with the TRY.

But also the converted kick into the goal gifting the All Blacks two extra points.

Japan 7-17 New Zealand

With Japan misjudged the onside kick into touch, New Zealand had the ball back.

Although, Waisuke Naholo panicked through the great work from two Japanese dummies.

That gave Japan the immunity with the scrum.

But New Zealand capitalized the clear-out when Waisuke Naholo ran on the far left side before kicked past halfway.

As three All Black attackers v one Japan defender fighting for the ball, Ngani Laumape executed Naholo’s assist with the TRY.

And Mo’unga’s kick between the sticks isn’t the problem in 3/3 attempts with ten minutes to go before the break.

Japan 7-24 New Zealand

Japan remained patient with their attacking phases thanks to the knock-on from Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi.

Shunsuke Nunomaki ran nearly on the run home where New Zealand may have held him short.

But Hendrik Tui got over the line as Japan score their 2nd five-point TRY.

As it’s a ten-point game between the two teams, Yu Tamura adds two extra points via the successful conversion kick.

Japan 14-24 New Zealand

It’s not too long for New Zealand to make up lost time after Japan made their second seven-point score.

Jordie Barrett made a quick ball to Waisuke Naholo as it may be a forward pass.

But the referees check it as a legal pass.

Nevertheless, Yutaka Nagare knocked-on the ball from his chest before Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi swept the TRY.

Japan 14-31 New Zealand

Dane Coles perfect the throw-in via the lineout.

And it didn’t take too long for Ngani Laumape to score his 2nd TRY.

Even without any help from his team-mates, Laumape demonstrated his Inside Center masterclass on the run home.

Richie Mo’unga’s kick looks so far, so good in five out of five attempts for the goal.

Japan 14-38 New Zealand

Just before half-time, Japan did everything they can to bounce back.

With the tough driving tussle towards the home stretch, Timothy Lafaele touched down for Japan’s 3rd TRY.

Yu Tamura’s kick may have failed to reach inside the posts.

But they never give up with the massive reception from their local crowd at Ajinomoto Stadium in Chofu, Tokyo, Japan.

HALF-TIME: Japan 19-38 New Zealand



  • Samuela Anise, 3′
  • Hendrik Tui, 32′
  • Timothy Lafaele, 40′


  • Yu Tamura, 5′, 33′

New Zealand


  • Dane Coles, 14′
  • Richie Mo’unga, 18′
  • Ngani Laupame, 27′, 37′
  • Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 35′


  • Richie Mo’unga, 15′, 20′, 28′, 35′, 38′


  • Richie Mo’unga, 2′


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Published by Sports Benches

Matthew Nicholas, the founder/blogger/vlogger on Sports Benches, is an aspiring cricket player & passionate sports fanatic who lives in Sydney, Australia.

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