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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 September 2007, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK
As it happened - Australia 91-3 Japan

ALL THE ACTION (all times BST)

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By Rob Hodgetts

606: DEBATE

80 mins: TRY Australia 91-3 Japan
Those clever Aussies (Adam Freier this time) notch up a 13th try. Why not go and pick on someone your own size? Only joking - you can only play what's in front of you, and it's important to keep up the levels of professionalism.

75 mins: TRY Australia 82-3 Japan
Berrick Barnes, the youngest man in the Wallaby squad, scores his second after good work from Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell. Giteau converts.

"I didn't think we'd lose by this much Well at least my football team won."
MitsuGas on 606

72 mins: TRY Australia 77-3 Japan
Alan Gaffney will be pleased (See below "I just love Latho" etc) Chris Latham chips over the Japanese line in his own 22 and then races all the way up the park to gather and score under the posts. That's 11 tries to equal the All Blacks against Italy. Aussies being Aussies, I wonder whether they fancy running in a couple more?

70 mins: Huge roars from the crowd as Japan somehow rumble to within a few metres of the Aussie line. They're giving it their all, trouble is they haven't go much. Passion yes, size, no. And you can say what you like, it's a big man's game these days.

65 mins: TRY Australia 70-3 Japan
You have to pity the Japanese. It's probably time to just call this one over now. Why not have two tiers in the World Cup? The winner of the lesser tier then goes into the World Cup proper, thus getting rid of all these mis-matches, which are frankly boring, if nothing else. Drew Mitchell slices over for another try. Yawn.

61 mins: TRY Australia 63-3 Japan
Contemplating just listing try-scorers now. George Smith makes a monstrous tackle in midfield, gets up, picks up the ball and powers over the line. Stirling Mortlock misses the extras.

58 mins: TRY Australia 58-3 Japan
This is getting silly now. Australia shuttle the ball left and another sub Drew Mitchell glides over in the corner.

56 mins: TRY Australia 51-3 Japan
The Wallabies are going through the gears now and replacement fly-half Berrick Barnes races over in the right corner after good work from Matt Dunning and George Gregan. Stirling Mortlock slots a good conversion from the touchline.

52 mins: TRY Australia 44-3 Japan
Australia surge forward again and it was only going to be a matter of time before one of them burrowed over. Japan just can't defend against the relentless green and gold tide. The try scorer is full-back Chris Latham. By the way, if you ever ask former Wallabies assistant coach Alan Gaffney about Latham, he'll always begin his answer, "Ah look mate, I just love Latho..."

49 mins: George Gregan makes another good break on the occasion of his 135th cap. There's the first signs this is going to degenerate into a game of sevens, but Japan stick to their task and defend well.

46 mins: TRY Australia 37-3 Japan
Australia cut loose once again when Adam Ashley-Cooper finishes off an incisive break down the left flank by Stephen Larkham, Nathan Sharpe and George Gregan. Stirling Mortlock converts.

44 mins: Japan enjoy a mini-purple patch and launch a few runs at Australia. But they've succumbed to Stephen Larkham disease and keep opting for the pop back inside when spreading it might pay better dividends.

41mins: TRY Australia 30-3 Japan
Australia kick off the second-half hoping to build on their impressive first 40 minutes. And no sooner said, than done. Rocky Elsom straightens up the line and surges through for a hat-trick. Stirling Mortlock converts.

Half-time: This band in Lyon has got some lungs. They've played constantly for 40 minutes. Japan, to be fair, have kept at it, too, and managed to stem the tide a bit at the end. That included a late scare when Stirling Mortlock nearly gathered a Matt Giteau kick over the top, only to knock-on as he tried to take the ball and flop over the line.

36 mins: PENALTY Australia 23-3 Japan
Japan earn a penalty midway between the halfway line and the 22 and fly-half Kosei Ono gets his side off the mark.

30 mins: TRY Australia 23-0 Japan
Australia's Rocky Elsom gets in for a second in the left corner after Stephen Larkham's initial break. But the Aussie fly-half is overdoing the inside ball and his stunning feint to ghost through Japan's midfield could have resulted in a try earlier on in the move if he'd just used the overlap outside him. Stirling Mortlock drags his conversion left.

28 mins: Apropos of nothing, the Japanese number five, Vatuvei, has a tremendous pineapple arrangement on his head, by way of a hair-do.

27 mins: A penalty against Australia's front row gives Japan a rare chance to venture into the Wallaby 22, but almost immediately Australia turn it over and burst out. Stephen Larkham's chip through - why not just keep it in hands, man? - finds no-one and the move breaks down.

23 mins: TRY Australia 18-0 Japan
Lovely try that from Australia. Stirling Mortlock makes a bludgeoning break through the middle, the ball finds Stephen Larkham to the left and he creates a gap for blind-side flanker Rocky Elsom to burst through and score at his leisure. Mortlock converts.

21 mins: Japan's forwards are vastly under-gunned and they just can't find a way to make inroads through the middle of Australia.

18 mins: TRY Australia 11-0 Japan
A big driving maul from the gold eight results in a pushover try for Nathan Sharpe. Stirling Mortlock's conversion hits the left upright and bounces back.

15 mins: PENALTY Australia 6-0 Japan
The building Aussie pressure results in another kick from Stirling Mortlock.

13 mins: There's a good band playing in the stands of Stade Gerland. Very jolly stuff. On the field, Australia seem to be working to a clear plan. Fast rucked ball is recycled very quickly, often with Stephen Larkham providing a little inside pop pass for a straight runner to burst through the gain line.

11 mins: A few tiny errors in the Aussies' game. Nothing that's going to trip them up, but a few dropped balls or loose passes just stifling the flow.

8 mins: PENALTY Australia 3-0 Japan
The Aussies are clearly on top but the Japanese look ready for the battle, at least at this stage. But as I write that, Australia are given a penalty in front of the sticks and skipper Stirling Mortlock slots the three-pointer.

6 mins: Oh hello, our first bit of biffo. The Japanese number four - Takanori Kumagae - takes offence at George Gregan roughing him up and a little bit of an all-in ensues before referee Alan Lewis steps in and administers stern words to Gregan, the world's most-capped player.

4 mins: Australia race right and Stephen Larkham lofts a high ball into the corner. Not a fan of that tactic myself, but anyway, Lote Tuqiri can't cope with the bounce and Japan counter, making 40 yards up their left touchline.

3 mins: Japan's scrum brings a huge cheer from the crowd as they withstand the superior Wallaby unit and clear their lines effectively.

1 min: After an early line-out, the Wallaby pack cranks into gear and rumbles into the heart of Japan. The sparky Aussie backs spin the ball quickly to the left and the first try looks a certainty until Japan turn it over.

Kick-off: Japan get things under way at a sunny Stade Gerland in Lyon.

1445: They might be quite good at rugby but it's fair to say the Wallabies aren't the world's most tuneful singers. "Advance Australia Fair" didn't sound all that fair to me.

1440: After the try-fest that was New Zealand v Italy, settle back for a rather more dour, nuggety slug-fest between two heavyweights of world rugby.

Alternatively, follow the commentary of Australia v Japan and see if we can beat the All Blacks' 11 tries.



SEE ALSO
Australia 91-3 Japan
08 Sep 07 |  Rugby Union
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment


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