Japan slip past Georgia

Japan recorded an exciting 28-22 win over Georgia in Tbilisi, while there were also wins for Romania and Tonga on Saturday.

The closely fought encounter in Tbilisi saw Georgia dominate up front with brute force, while Japan ruled the roost in the back division.

Tries by Viktor Kolelishvili and Vasil Lobzhanidze put the Lelos 12-8 up at half-time. Despite the momentum swinging back and forth, Georgia managed to extend their advantage to 22-13 as they headed into the final quarter, but Japan mounted a late surge to sink the hosts.

The Brave Blossoms made it a two-point game when wing Lomano Lemeki crossed for his second try, which Yu Tamura converted and they soon regained the lead that was unassailable in the end.

Kenki Fukuoka grabbed Japan’s fourth try for a 25-22 lead. And when Georgia was reduced to 14 men following a dangerous tackle, Tamura sealed the win with a penalty goal.

In other tier-two Test results on Saturday, Romania stunned John Mitchell's USA Eagles 23-10 in Bucharest. South African-born lock Johan van Heerden opened the scoring with a try for Romania. He played alongside flyhalf Jody Rose for the hosts. JP Eloff was the replacement flyhalf for the Eagles, who have now suffered two successive defeats.

Tonga ground out a hard-fought 28-13 victory against Spain in Madrid.

Photo: Vano Shlamov/AFP/Getty Images

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