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Japan condemn Georgia to third straight loss ahead of World Cup

Amanaki Lelei Mafu's late try snatched victory for Japan
Image: Amanaki Lelei Mafu's late try snatched victory for Japan

Japan left it late to edge Georgia 13-10 in a closely contested Rugby World Cup warm-up match at Gloucester’s Kingsholm Stadium.

Japan took an early lead through an early Ayumu Goromaru penalty but Georgia responded with the first try of the match after 16 minutes. Wing Muraz Giorgadze was the man to dot down and Merab Kvirikashvili added the conversion.

Another Goromaru penalty 10 minutes later saw Japan reduce the deficit to 7-6 and the scores stayed that way until Lasha Malaguradze's kick 10 minutes from time allowed Georgia to pull four points clear.

But with just two minutes left on the clock, back rower Amanaki Lelei Mafu broke through in the dying minutes to score a converted try and snatch the win for Japan.

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Japan are in World Cup Pool B and begin their campaign against South Africa on September 19, while Georgia start against Tonga in Pool C on the same day back at Gloucester.

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