Ireland brushes aside Japan 35-13 to sweep two-test series

Rhys Ruddock

Ireland completed their summer tour and signed off on a solid season with win over Japan in Tokyo on Saturday.

Back rowers Josh van der Flier and Sean Reidy scored their first global tries as Ireland overcame a stiffer challenge from Japan to wrap up the two-match series with a 35-13 win in muggy Tokyo.

"It was very hot out there, the players were fatiguing early in the game, so it was great to get a good start and hang on at the finish".

"The game today highlights the gap between Tier 1 teams and where we are now and what we are working towards", said Japan coach Jamie Joseph.

"The other area is the scrum, they were so much stronger in the scrum, they held us very solidly at scrum time".

"We know it will be tougher this weekend", said Schmidt.

Garry Ringrose scored Ireland's first try less than five minutes in when he picked up an errant Japan pass and ran over from halfway.

"I think we got exactly what we expected, it was very tough, very physical", noted Schmidt. "Japan made it very hard for us".

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"We had some young players in this series and they have really stepped up and shown that they can play at this level". They made it very hard work.

Japan scored a well created try on 24 minutes.

Japan got their second try on 61 minutes.

The visitors crossed for four tries in the first half and, although Japan's resilience stiffened in the second, a comeback was never likely.

Fly-half Paddy Jackson unerringly converted all five tries for Ireland, who crushed Japan 50-22 last weekend and also broke the 50-point mark against the USA in their opening tour game in New Jersey.

From a scrum in the Japanese 22 Jack Conan broke off the back and was stopped close to the line, the ball was quickly recycled and Ruddock barged over, Jackson's conversion gave Ireland a 28-8 lead at the interval.

"(Rikiya) Matsuda tried to kick it behind their defense but it bounced off one of their players and I got lucky", said Yamada.

"We have learnt things from each game in this series", said Leitch, who returned to the national team for the June series - which also included a 33-21 win over Romania in Kumamoto on June 10 - following a period of rest. "We tried to fix that in the first game against Ireland but there we were lacking mentally".

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