Russia scored first in the opening match of Rugby World Cup 2019 but Japan didn’t take long to find their feet and came back fast eventually winning 30-10.
Kotaro Matsushima, Japan’s winger, scored a hat-trick and was duly awarded man of the match.
Kirill Golosnitskiy scored the first try of the tournament in the fifth minute of the match. It was the fastest try in the opening match of a Rugby World Cup. With a conversion by Yury Kushnarev the score was 7-0.
The home country team quickly came back and scored in the 12th minute with Kotaro Matsushima crossing the line for his first try.
Russia attacked but could not get to the line. Matsushima crossed the line again but the try was disallowed after TMO ruled that he didn’t ground the ball.
Matsushima however scored in the 38th minute. Yu Tamura converted taking Japan to a 12-10 lead at half-time.
When play resumed Tamura scored an early penalty. Flanker Pieter Labuschagne scored the next try running 40 yards to take Japan’s lead to 20-7.
Kushnarev got a penalty to bring Russia to within 10 points with 20 minutes to go. Tamura scored a long-range penalty to take Japan to 23-10.
Matsushima then scored his third try of the match. A tiring Russia couldn’t stop him. Rikiya Matsuda converted the try.
A convincing win for tournament hosts.