France scores late to beat Japan 20-15 in 2nd test
TOKYO (AP) — Replacement Baptiste Couilloud’s try in the 71st minute snatched France a 20-15 win over Japan in the second rugby test and a 2-0 series win at the National Stadium on Saturday.
Japan led until that point with two tries to fullback Ryohei Yamanaka but France rallied to take the match with 13 unanswered points in the second half.
The result stretched France’s record winning streak to 10 matches, including a Six Nations Grand Slam.
All of Japan’s scoring occurred in the first half. Yamanaka was set up by wing Gerhard van den Heever for his first try in the 12th minute and by flanker Michael Leitch for his second just before halftime, sending Japan to halftime up 15-7.
France’s first points came from a lineout maul followed by Virimi Vakatawa sending wing Matthis Lebel clear in the 10th.
Japan also matched France in the first half of the first test, going to the break in that match on terms at 13-13. France eventually ran away with the first test 42-23.
Their rally on Saturday was less emphatic in a match which seldom gained any fluency. Instead, penalties by halves Maxime Lucu and Matthieu Jalibert drew France within two points of the home side and Couilloud’s try — a solo break off a scrum to the posts — converted by Jalibert gave them their final margin.
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