Monday, June 09, 2008
Australia A won their opening IRB Pacific Nations Cup encounter against Japan, 42-21, in Fukuoka on Sunday. The Australians ran in six tries, including a brace to Brumbies lock Peter Kimlin, to overwhelm a gallant Japanese outfit and claim a bonus point in front of 7,493 fans.
Other tries to Van Humphries, Mark Gerrard, Morgan Turinui and Sam Norton-Knight capped off an impressive hit-out for coach Phil Mooneys team.
Australia led 35-3 at half-time, but were reduced to 13 men early in the second half after the sin-binning of Guy Shepherdson and Julian Salvi.
The loss of two players and travel fatigue showed which led to Japan coming to life after the break and cutting the deficit to 35-19 with a pair of tries by Tomoaki Taniguchi.
Despite the late effort, Peter Kimlin scored his second try of the match in the 70th minute to make it 40-21 and deflate the Japanese.
Australia A play Samoa in Apia on June 15 before returning to Australia to play three home matches against Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand Maori. Japan next faces Tonga on June 14.