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Highlanders development team named for Japan A

James Mortimer     02 Apr 2013    

Kick-off is 430pm and entry is via Gate D for the general public. Entry is $5.

The New Zealand series of the Pacific Rugby Cup is now over for the three Pacific Island teams, although Japan A still have two fixtures to play, against the Highlanders Development team today and the Hurricanes Development team five days later.

Junior Japan, a side comprising mostly high school and university students, lost their first match on New Zealand soil following a 43-19 defeat by the Blues Development team at Bell Park in Pakuranga.

The Japanese, who picked up a second bonus point after scoring four tries in a 47-28 loss to the Australian Rugby Union’s Sydney-based National Academy team last weekend, found themselves 26-0 down within 16 minutes of play.

Bryn Hall, William Whetton and a brace by captain Joe Edwards put the Blues Development side in total control, but Japan’s youngest ever international Yoshikazu Fujita intercepted and raced away for his side’s first try.

The Blues Development team’s lead grew to 33-5 when Malakai Fekitoa touched down with a little over half an hour to play, but Junior Japan then began to find some holes in the defence with wing Kenki Fukuoka and hooker Atsushi Sakate scoring tries.

There was to be no fairytale comeback, though for Junior Japan as an injury break allowed the Blues Development team to regroup and they duly made certain of victory with further tries by replacement Nepia Fox-Matamua and wing Aula Silipa.

1. LOOSE HEAD: TUKI RAIMONA
2. HOOKER: JASON RUTLEDGE
3. TIGHTHEAD: BRONSON MURRAY
4. LOCK: TOM FRANKLIN
5. LOCK: JOE WHEELER
6. BLINDSIDE: JAKE PARINGATAI
7. OPENSIDE: HUGH BLAKE
8. NO. 8: PAUL GRANT (Captain)
9. SCRUM HALF: FRAE WILSON
10. FLY HALF/1ST FIVE: HAYDEN PARKER
11. WING: KIERAN MOFFAT
12. CENTRE/2ND FIVE: JAYDEN SPENCE
13. CENTRE: NEIL BREW
14. WING: TONY ENSOR
15. FULLBACK: TRENT RENATA
16. HOOKER: SEKONAIA POLE
17. PROP: NIC BARRETT
18. LOCK: JACKSON HEMOPO
19. LOOSE FORWARD: SOLOMON T-POLE
20. SCRUM HALF: TAYLER ADAMS
21. INSIDE BACK: PETER BREEN
22. OUTSIDE BACK: MICHAEL COLLINS