Japan sends strong message to Cup rivals with New Year’s test victories

Jan. 14, 2020 @ 9:45 UTC

Japan sends early warning for Asian Touch Cup with a clean sweep of the recent test series with Hong Kong in Tokyo

With one eye on Shanghai in October, Japan has celebrated the New Year by beating Hong Kong in the test series held in Tokyo Japan on the weekend of 11 and 12 January.

The home team won the first test convincingly 16-3, and the second match 11-3. Hong Kong, led by MVP Tsang Ho Keung, showed more creativity in the third game to put seven touchdowns on one of Asia’s best men’s team. In the final wash-up, the Japanese won the third test 15-7.

For the Japanese Men’s team, Hori starred in the big wins against its Asian rival. The fleet of foot Takahiro finished with seven touchdowns for the series, with fellow Cherry Blossoms Koizumi Ryoma and Adachi Shoei crossing the stripe six times. Seiji Yamamoto, Tomoki Shimizu and Takumi Mori also asked plenty of questions of the Hong Kong defence with four touchdowns each.

Apart from playmaker Keung, Wallace Ng Wai Lok tested the sturdy Japanese defence regularly. The livewire Wai Lok finished with a creditable three touchdowns for the test match series. Ng Ka Kit, Ho Lam Pang and Kwok Kwong Wan also made significant contributions with two touchdowns apiece.

A weekend to remember for Japan’s women

In the Women’s Open test matches the Cherry Blossoms also proved too strong for their hardworking rivals. The Japanese won the first test by 9-1 and the second encounter even more impressively 16-2. With playmaker Kuraishi Kana prominent, the home team won the third test by 11-1. Apart from the talented Kana, quicksilver Tanaka Minori had a weekend to remember with a stunning eight touchdowns for the three tests. Likewise, Nakayama Asaka enjoyed tremendous success with six touchdowns Endo Ayumi crossing for times.

For the visitors, Wong Chi Ling was MVP, and the Hong Kong star never gave up contributing a touchdown and always working hard in defence. Other scorers for Hong Kong included Sonia Ng Lok Ching, Ng Ka Lok and Ma Nga Man.

Federation of International Touch (FIT) Secretary-General Bill Ker said the results from Tokyo had sent a strong message to Japan’s rivals for the Asian Touch Cup in October 2020. The tournament will be played 16-18 October 2020 at the magnificent Shanghai Tan Sports Public Park. The inaugural event will attract national men’s, women’s and mixed teams from across Asia, including newly minted FIT member Sri Lanka.

“The Japanese teams have set the bar high for their rivals with these results in Tokyo. However, the Asian Touch Cup is still more than eight months away, which gives Japan’s rivals plenty of time to prepare for the upcoming challenges.”