Maori break Japanese hearts

The Maori All Blacks scored a late try to beat Japan 20-18 in Tokyo on Saturday.

Having been thrashed 61-21 in Kobe last weekend, the Brave Blossoms came close to levelling the series, fighting back from a 12-5 half-time deficit to take a 18-15 lead.

But the visitors snatched victory in the 80th minute, when they took a quick throw-in inside Japan's half and after the ball went through several pairs of hands flanker Dan Pryor dived over in the right-hand corner.

Codie Taylor and Nehe Milner-Skudder scored earlier tries for the Maori, while Ihaia West kicked a penalty and a conversion.

Japan then scored 13 unanswered points to get back in the match, including a Akihito Yamada try and a penalty try.

Japan – Tries: Akihito Yamada, penalty try. Conversion: Ayumu Goromaru. Penalties: Goromaru (2).
Maori All Blacks – Tries: Codie Taylor, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Dan Pryor. Conversion: West. Penalty: Ihaia West.

Japan – 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Karne Hesketh, 13 Kotaro Matsushima, 13 Harumichi Tatekawa, 12 Male Sau, 11 Akihito Yamada, 10 Kosei Ono, 9 Atsushi Hiwasa, 8 Amanaki Lelei Mafi, 7 Michael Leitch, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Shinya Makabe, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 2 Takeshi Kizu, 1 Keita Inagaki.
Subs: 16 Yusuke Nagae, 17 Hiroki Yuhara, 18 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 19 Hitoshi Ono, 20 Hayden Hopgood , 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Harumichi Tatekawa, 23 Ryohei Yamanaka.

Maori All Blacks – 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Kurt Baker, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Charlie Ngatai (c), 11 James Lowe, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 Sean Polwart, 6 Dan Pryor, 5 Blade Thomson, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 MIke Kainga, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Chris Eves.
Subs: 16 Joe Royal, 17 Brendon Edmonds, 18 Nick Barrett, 19 Hayden Triggs, 20 Mitch Crosswell, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Joe Webber.

Photo: Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

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