Japan give England rugby scare

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BAND OF BROTHERS: England had to dig deep to defeat Japan. Credit: @EnglandRugby/Twitter

ENGLAND ran in three second-half tries to come from behind and beat a pumped up Japan 35-15 at Twickenham.

Japan had been leading 15-10 at half-time after tries from Ryoto Nakamura and captain Michael Leitch rounded off some wonderfully creative attacking rugby.

Eddie Jones had spoken of “emotionally smashing” the side he used to coach, but an upset to rival the famous Japanese defeat of South Africa in Brighton at the 2015 World Cup, seemed on the cards.

It was only late in the game, after debut international tries from Mark Wilson and Joe Cokanisaga, and two penalties from George Ford, that England took any sort of control.

Jones had made 11 changes from the side that came so close to beating New Zealand a week ago, and two of those men combined early as winger Cokanasiga’s piercing run paved the way for Danny Care to race away for the opening try.

But with Jamie George sin-binned after going off his feet in desperate defence, Nakamura burst on to Fumiaki Tanaka’s flat pass off a scrum 10 yards out and straight through Alex Lozowski, and Japan were ahead.

More was to come from the cherry and whites as Leitch barged through Care’s attempted tackle and stepped past last man Daly to dive over in the corner.

Twickenham was stunned and Jones threw on Sam Underhill, Ben Moon and Kyle Sinckler to try to wrestle back control.

The changes seemed to galvanise the home side and with a quarter of the game to go Ford’s dummy pass opened a gap in the defensive line and his inside ball found Wilson storming through.

Two further tries slightly flattered England but with Australia coming to town this Saturday, Jones will be aiming for three wins out of four testing matches this month.

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