All Blacks fully stretched by Japan before winning 38-31

Nov 01, 2022
20221029 Michael Nz

The All Blacks were shaken by a superb 80-minute performance by Japan and had to find depths of character and resolve to beat the Brave Blossoms 38-31 in Tokyo on Saturday in the first match of their northern hemisphere tour.

    With defense which was far more rigid than the score line suggests and which hurried the All Blacks and forced them into errors, Japan made a massive imprint on the match and undoubtedly was the better team.

    Japan disrupted the All Blacks lineout and attacked with class and skill to suggest New Zealand was lucky to escape the fate of South Africa, Scotland and Ireland who recently have suffered defeat at the hands of the Japan team.

    A try to flanker Kazuki Himeno two minutes from fulltime drew Japan within four points of New Zealand and the Brave Blossoms had the ball through the dying minutes of the match. But it was unable to score again and New Zealand sealed its win with a penalty to Richie Mo'unga after the fulltime siren.


    20221029 Michael Nz Wave