Japan Overturn 22 Point Deficit To Win In Dying Seconds

Japan would stun Hong Kong early on, Richard Lindsay finding his way over the line inside 3 minutes for the Samurai's, the conversion unsuccessful but Japan still holding a 4-0 margin sooner than anticipated. 

Japan struck back on the 10 minute mark, some good attacking play bolstered by repeated penalties putting Japan on the Hong Kong line, Kazuki Fukushige finding a go at the line himself far too tempting as he squeezed between two unaware markers to score to the left of the posts, the kick missed.

Hong Kong were desperate to regain a larger margin over their opponents, once more getting to within striking distance, Craig McMurrich attempting to force his way over from dummy half, somehow Japan's defence getting under him to prevent a certain try.

Japan had found their way back into the game, Itaro Matsuo stepping past a sliding line to break down field, a penalty then refreshing the tackle count for these Japanese side. Having no luck down the left they opted to move the ball through the hands to the right edge, Dai Fujitaka taking advantage of a fractured line and powering over, the conversion missed to make it 8-6.

Enemarki Shibasaki looked to have come up with the play of the game, fending away from two players, breaking a tackle and tramming over the the top of the fullback, the ball becoming dislodged as he looked to ground it.

Hong Kong's lead would return when a spilled kick close to the line found it's way back into the Thunder hands, Lee Griffiths taking on the line and spinning out of contact to score Hong Kong's second try of the day, the conversion successful to give them a four point cushion at 12-8.

Hong Kong  scored again just moments later in similar circumstances, hoisting a high kick skyward and once more Japan coming up with the error, Ben Ryan trampling Japanese defenders en route to the line, the kick converted to give Hong Kong an 18-8 lead.

Hong Kong begun to stamp their authority on the fixture when they scored their 3rd try in eight minutes, Craig McMurrich helping himself to his second of the game out of dummy half, Japan's goal line defence costing them dearly, the conversion once more successful to give Hong Kong a 24-8 lead into the half.

Hong Kong would pick up where they left off at the end of the first half, Spence picking up the ball close to the line, stepping off his right foot and cutting back inside the defence to score under the posts, the kick converted again by to maintain their 100% record off the boot today.

Japan worked the blind side when Hong Kong left themselves short on the left edge, Andrew Williams bursting onto a short ball and sliding over to boost the Japanese morale, the kick missed from the sideline.

Enemarki Shibasaki would prove why he's Japan's danger man, splitting the defence and bursting down the left side, stepping the fullback and rounding the sticks to put Japan firmly back in the game with 25 minutes to play, the kick successful to make it 30-18.

Japan set the game up for a grandstand finish, Enemarki Shibasaki taking the ball to the line and putting Gorka Gerediaga Etxaburu through a hole to score, the kick successful and Hong Kong's 30-8 lead now shrunk to a 30-24 lead with 15 minutes to play.

Enemarki Shibasaki leveled the game up with 10 minutes to play, the big man going through a gap and using tremendous footwork to beat the fullback and race clear from 40 metres out, the kick successful from dead in-front and the scores settled up at 30-30.

A penalty for a shoulder charge 30 metres from the Hong Kong line gave Japan an opportunity to win the game, Sigano slotting the ball over the black dot to win the game for Japan, trailing 30-8 with 30 minutes to play, winning the game 32-30 win no more than 25 seconds on the clock.


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