Lomano Lemeki scored a brace of tries as Japan cruised to a 39-6 victory against Tonga in Toulouse on Saturday.
Japan were in control from start to finish against a Tongan side that looked out of their depth.
Apart from Lemeki’s try-scoring exploits, Yu Tamura also excelled for Japan. The flyhalf had six successful kicks at goal (four conversions and two penalties) for a 14-point haul.
Japan raced out to a 27-6 lead at the interval thanks to converted tries by Lemeki, Amanaki Mafi and captain Michael Leitch, while Tamura slotted two penalties.
The action from Japan fizzled out in the third quarter of the match. However, they managed to score twice in the final quarter to take the margin beyond the 30-point mark.
First Lemeki dotted down to complete his brace, while Kenki Fukuoka then wrapped up the result when he burrowed over to score Japan’s fifth try.
Japan – Tries: Michael Leitch, Amanaki Mafi, Lomano Lemeki (2), Kenki Fukuoka. Conversions: Yu Tamura (4). Penalties: Tamura (2).
Tonga – Penalties: Sonatane Takulua (2).
Japan – 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Lomano Lava Lemeki, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Michael Leitch (c), 6 Kazuki Himeno, 5 Shinya Makabe, 4 Wimpie van der Walt, 3 Ji-Won Koo, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki.
Subs: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Shintaro Ishihara, 18 Asaeli Ai Valu, 19 Shunsuke Nunomaki, 20 Fetuani Lautaimi, 21 Yutaka Nagare, 22 Sione Teaupa, 23 Yoshikazu Fujita.
Tonga – 15 Atieli Pakalani, 14 David Halaifonua, 13 Nafi Tuitavake, 12 Siale Piutau, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Kali Hala, 9 Sonatane Takulua, 8 Maama Vaipulu, 7 Fotu Lokotui, 6 Daniel Faleafa, 5 Steve Mafi, 4 Leva Fifita, 3 Halani Aulika, 2 Sione Lea, 1 Latu Talakai.
Subs: 16 Sione Lolohea, 17 Jethro Felemi, 18 Paea Fa’anunu, 19 Onehunga Havili, 20 Sione Vailanu, 21 Shinnosuke Tu’umoto’oa, 22 George Taina, 23 Penikolo Latu.
Photo: Henry Browne/Getty Images