Sun, Jun 18, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Ireland score 50-22 victory over Asian champions Japan

AFP, SHIZUOKA, Japan

Ireland served Japan a brutal reality check as they crushed the Asian champions 50-22 yesterday in the second of their three-match summer tour.

Joe Schmidt’s new-look side ran in seven tries in a clinical performance, despite the lingering effects of jet-lag and blazing heat in Shizuoka on Japan’s Pacific coast.

With the bulk of Ireland’s usual starting line-up in New Zealand on duty with the British and Irish Lions, a fresh crop of hungry young players tore into Japan from the start.

Keith Earls burst clear to score Ireland’s first try after just 10 minutes and, with Heiichiro Ito sin-binned, Dan Leavy barged over twice before Jack Conan also crossed as the tourists stretched their lead to 31-3 at halftime.

Ireland, who thrashed the US 55-19 in New Jersey last weekend, added further tries through Conan, Garry Ringrose and Earls again after the break.

Flyhalf Paddy Jackson slotted 13 points from six kicks.

Japan’s Brave Blossoms, who ground out a 33-21 home win over Romania last week after an unbeated run through the Asian Rugby Championship against South Korea and Hong Kong, looked bereft of ideas in a dress rehearsal for the 2019 World Cup, when they face Ireland in the pool stage as tournament hosts.

Despite encouraging signs in the second half, late consolation tries from Kenki Fukuoka and Yutaka Nagare failed to paper over the cracks for Japan, who get another shot at the Irish in Tokyo.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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