In the battle of two teams each looking for its first win, Japan wasted no time at all getting on the board. A perfectly taken kickoff by Japan left Kosuke Hashino wide open for the try fewer than thirty seconds into the match. Despite the sudden shock of being down 7–0 to a team that beat New Zealand in the Olympics, Chile showed great composure in regrouping. A potential scoring opportunity in the fourth minute for Chile failed and became turnover ball for Japan. From there, Japan won a penalty and booted it to set up a five-meter attacking lineout. Despite surviving the initial threat, Japan’s pressure paid off when Katsuyuki Sakai added a second Japanese try five minutes in. A flub on the restart gave Chile a free kick with forty seconds left in the half. A breakdown in fundamentals cost Chile possession, but Japan was unable to build on its lead ahead of the second half.
The second half started with the more fundamentally sound and crisp play that we saw from Chile in the tough loss to Kenya yesterday. Behind playmaker Marcelo Torrealba’s try and conversion, Chile got back into the match. The restart looked like it was going to fail to travel ten meters, but an assist from the wind avoided the short-arm penalty, but a knock on gave possession to Japan. A penalty in the resulting ruck, gave Japan an attacking lineout thirty-five meters out. Chile’s inability to quickly finish tackles allowed Japan’s Kameli Soejima to get across the goal line, but a gutsy effort held the ball up. Japan won the five-meter scrum and added a third try just to the right off the post. Sakai’s conversion made it a twelve-point match with the restart to come at the end of the twelfth minute. Japan dominated the restart and Soejima put the match out of range with a try in the right corner, leaving his kicker to try the conversion from the touch line. Although well taken, the kick failed to overcome the difficult angle. Chile caught a break on the next restart but lost a scoring opportunity for a forward pass. At the full time whistle, Japan earned the right to advance, and Chile joined the long line of non-core invitees to finish winless. Japan 24, Chile 7.