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Match Report: Japan vs. Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands vs. Japan

Nathan Taylor
Rugby League Around the Grounds

Solomon Islands won their first match of the Emerging Nations World Championship, defeating Japan 44-22 at Windsor Sporting Complex.

The Solomon Islands got off to a quick start scoring a try through the prop Jimmy Maebata and the Conversion was successful from the winger Eddie Moe’ava to make it a early 6-0 lead.

In the 10th minute it looked like the Solomon Islands had gone in again off the back of a great bomb but the fullback Moses Singamoana dropped the ball over the line.

It wasn’t long until they went over again in the 12th minute through the halfback Timo Sanga running through a nice hole to score a try.

Eddie Moe’ava converted the try to take the Solomon Islands lead to 12-0.

Both sides couldn’t hold the ball and fortunately for Japan the Solomon Islands dropped the ball right in front of their lock Enemarki Shibasaki who swooped on the ball to score right under the posts.

With a successful conversion the Solomon Islands lead was cut down to 12-6.

Japan had a great set after points getting the ball back in the Solomon Islands 10 metre zone, though they couldn’t capitalise on the good possession dropping it short of the line.

Solomon Islands themselves capitalised off the back of a Japanese mistake scoring a try against the run of play through Eddie Moe’ava.

Sanga took over the kicking duties but couldn’t convert from the sideline, taking the score to 16-6.

Solomon Islands started to break the game open in the 29th minute with a nice early shift to Tongaka who raced away to score a very good try.

Sanga converted from in front to give Solomon Islands a handy 22-6 lead in the 30th minute.

With a few minutes to close out the first half Eddie Moe’ava broke through the Japanese defence to score his second try and to add insult to injury he managed to improve his position close to the posts.

Timo Sanga converted to give his side a 28-6 lead.

The halftime break couldn’t come soon enough for Japan as they went into the break trailing 28-6.

The second half kicked off as the lights came on over Windsor Oval with Solomon Islands hoping to continue their domination over the Japanese side.

Japan had a couple of attacking raids early in the second half but failed to convert those opportunities into points as Solomon Islands managed to keep them out and force errors.

In the 50th minute Japan lost their hooker Kazuki Fukushige to what looked like a lower leg injury.

In the next set Japan exploited the blind side of Solomon Islands defence as Dai Fujitaka went over in the corner but their conversion fell short and Solomon Islands lead 28-10.

The Solomon Islands then found another hole in the Japanese defence as five eight Tony Taupongi ran over to the corner and planted the ball down to make it a 32-10 lead.

Halfback Timo Sanga converted from the sideline to extend his team’s lead 34-10.

Solomon Islands backrower Saomatangi was sin binned for a professional foul, giving Japan a one player advantage for 10 minutes.

Japan went over for their third try off a grubber from Shibasaki that ricocheted through legs in the defensive line and landed in front of Lachlan Grieve who came through to plant the ball down.

Karino added the extras to take the score to 34-16.

Shibasaki scored his second try of the day as he raced 40 metres to score a cracker of a try which Karino then converted, with the score standing at 34-22 with 14 minutes to go.

The Solomon Islands were able to go over again through Jimmy Maebati for his second try of the day off the back of a great run and offload  by the halfback Sanga.

Sanga was able to convert to give his side a 40-22 lead.

Shatler Angikitasi went over late in the game from dummy half, though the conversion was unsuccessful, stretching the Solomon Islands’ lead to 44-22, with the scores remaining that way at full time.

Japan: 22
Tries – Enemarki Shibasaki (2), Dai Fojitaka, Lachlan Grieve
Goals – Kenta Karino (3)

Solomon Islands: 44
Tries – Jimmy Maebata (2), Timo Sanga, Eddie Moe’ava (2), Larvenstarr Tongaka, Tony Taupongi
Goals – Eddie Moe’ava (2), Timo Sanga (4)


Team Lists:

Japan Solomon Islands
Sean Gabites Fullback Moses Singamoana
Iratu Matsuo Wing Steven Momoa
Kohei Ishikawa Centre Larvenstarr Tongaka
Dai Fojitaka Centre Gareth Kengalu
Andrew Williams Wing Eddie Moe’ava
Kenta Karino Five-eighth Tony Taupongi
Kenshi Tsutsui Halfback Timo Sanga
Gorka Gerediaga Prop Jimmy Maebata
Kazuki Fukushige (c) Hooker Carlwyn Tengemoana
Hiroshi Fukasawa Prop Mostyn Meanu’u
Amane Konishi Second Row Damien Horoi
Lachlan Grieve Second Row Daniel Saomatangi
Enemarki Shibasaki Lock Darwyn Tongaka
Keisuke Nakai Interchange Fraser Manau
Futoshi Karino Interchange Francis Ramo
Yuki Mochizuki Interchange Jefferson Scott
Taou Sugano Interchange Shatler Angikitasi