Australia survive late scare to overcome Japan and extend unbeaten run -- Oct 24
Australia had a minor scare late in the game but held on to launch their end-of-season tour with a 32-23 victory over Japan in Oita on Saturday and extend their winning streak to five Tests.

Wingers Tom Wright and Jordan Petaia crossed for tries in the first half, while forwards Taniela Tupou, Rob Leota and Connal McInerney added scores after the break to maintain Australia’s 100 record record in six Tests against Japan.

Japan, who scored tries through Lomano Lemeki and Ryoto Nakamura, drew within four points of the lead at 27-23 with five minutes remaining but debutant hooker McInerney touched down off the back of rolling maul to snuff out home hopes of an upset.

“It was a really competitive game,” said Australia captain Michael Hooper. “They tested us in a lot of areas and it was a really close game in the end,” he said. “They’ve just been improving every year.”

Although far from a perfect performance, the Wallabies will be pleased to have extended their winning streak after back-to-back victories over both world champions South Africa and Argentina to conclude the Rugby Championship.

Outhalf Quade Cooper had a mixed match, sending Wright through to open the scoring in the seventh minute with a neat inside pass but also lofting up the pass that allowed Japan centre Ryoto Nakamura an intercept try in the second half. ...continue reading