Rugby World Cup 2019: Live Updates - Japan v Russia from Tokyo

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Japan 30 - 10 Russia

Full time in Tokyo - Japan get it done over Russia, stay tuned for the match wrap. 

80 min: Russia win a penalty right as the full time gong sounds - they will kick to touch. 

79 min: Another knock on from Japan and that will almost do us. 

78 min: Crawling our way to full time here. Russia searching for a final try. 

75 min: Japan are pushing for more points here, but they knock another ball on.

69 min: TRY - Japan. Lovely from Japan, it was very scrappy from Russia who clear and the hosts made the most of the broken play to attack, the winger, Matsushima crossed for his third of the night. Kick is good. Japan 30 -10 Russia. 

68 min: Knock on from Russia - a very scratchy opener here in Tokyo 49 total missed tackles, 34 for Russia. 

63 min: Another penalty called for Japan - in kickable range here. They kick and it's good. Japan 23 - 10 Russia. 

60 min: Russia are now enjoying some ball inside Japan's 22. They win a penalty and decide to kick for goal. It's good. Japan 20-10 Russia. 

56 min: Great defence from Japan and they force a penalty just 5m out from their own line, great defence. 

54 min: Russia go close and come up with a penalty, just 5 metres out, they will kick for touch. 

50 min: Leitch comes up with a lovely turnover then Japan lose the ball in contact and Russia win a scrum. 

49 min: You just feel like the flood gates could open now. 

47 min: TRY - Japan, against the run of play from the hosts - Pieter Labuschagne makes a tackle and comes away with the ball, he scampers away to score. Kick is wide. Japan 20 - 7 Russia.

43 min: No roll from Russia and Japan win a penalty, they will kick for the points. It's good. Japan 15-7 Russia.

42 min: A Japan scrum coming up, showing their intent early on in this second half, two quick tries and I think this will be all over. 

41 min: We are back underway in Tokyo for the second half. 

Half time here in Tokyo - lots of mistakes from Japan but they've found the front just before the gong and it will be 12-7 heading into the break. 

39 min: TRY - Japan, Matsushima has his second - Japan stay patient there and they get their reward through their winger. Kick is good. Japan 12 - 7 Russia. 

35 min: WOW! Big call there as the hosts looked to have scored again but TMO Ben Skeen says not, knock on is the call. Probably the right one.

33 min: Another Japanese mistake, a knock on from Lafaele

32 min: Japan work the ball forward but knock the ball again, seems to be the theme - both sides run the ball untill it's kocked on. The box kicks aren't working for Russia but they keep presisting. 

29 min: Sloppy game here, both teams making a number of mistakes, but Japan are all over Russia here, but Russia lead. 

26 min: Massive counter ruck from Russia and they kick the ball up field but Leitch gets back and Japan clear. 

24 min: A knock on from Japan - they are very close to breaking through the Russian defence, the Russians are knackered already.... but they're hanging in.

22 min: A big pressure release for Japan as they win a penalty on half way, they will kick for touch. 

20 min: A mistake comes from Russia and Japan kick it away. 

18 min: Another mistake from Japan - Matsushima tries to take the catch out but ends up stepping out, big chance here for Russia. 

16 min: Japan are going to the grubber alot early! It looks to be working and Russia will need to adjust. 

14 min: Japan are guilty of overplaying and they come up with the error, but they are playing well positive footy. 

12 min: TRY - Japan! Gorgeous from the hosts, a lovely backline move which sees a nice flick from Timothy Lafaele and a pass finds Kotaro Matsushima who scores. Kick is wide. Japan 5 - 7 Russia. 

10 min: Penalty won by Japan after a great break from the hosts - their penalty just 10 metres out now. 

9 min: Shaky again from Japan - another knock on at the lineout and Russia have their first scrum of the game. 

8 min: Nice play from Japan and a kick in behind puts lots of pressure on Russia - they clear and Japan will have a lineout on the 22. 

5 min: Japan exit but it doesn't find touch and a Russian kick is knocked on from the hosts and it's a TRY! Big mistake from William Tupou and it's Kirill Golosnitskiy who pounces on the loose ball and scores. Kick is good. Japan 0 - 7 Russia. 

3 min: Russia knock the ball in the lineout and Japan will feed the scrum. 

2 min: Early penalty for Russia and they will kick for touch - big time confidence. 

1 min: Pretty scrappy start from Japan - Russia win a lineout just 10 metres out. 

1 min: Kick off, after four years! The Rugby World Cup is back. 

10:45pm: Kick off is moments away. 

10:42pm: Anthems coming up now, Russia will be first. 

10:41pm: Both sides are coming out onto the field now! 

10:33 pm : Under 15 minutes to go now, conditions in Tokyo are perfect for running rugby - expect a fast-paced game. 

The opening match is up next! Japan v Russia coming up at 10:45, stay with me for live updates

9:52 pm: The 2019 Rugby World Cup has officially been opened! Just 45 minutes until kick-off of the opener between Japan and Russia. 

9:44pm: The William Webb Ellis trophy appears in the centre of the stadium, and it's the man who has lifted it twice as captain holding it. Richie McCaw

9:41 pm: Going through all the teams now, the children on the stage are singing a song - big energy in the stadium. 

9:38 pm: Lots of traditional dances to kick start the ceremony - now going through the history of rugby in Japan while dancing around a model of Mt Fuji. 

9:30pm: The opening ceremony is officially underway in Tokyo! 

Kia ora, good evening and welcome to Newshub's coverage of the opening match of the Rugby World Cup between Japan and Russia from Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo.

Commentary will be available from 10:45 pm. 

TAB Odds: Japan $1.001   Russia $20

Pre-game banter: Hosts Japan admit to nerves ahead of opener against Russia

Japan halfback Yutaka Nagare admits there are plenty of nerves in the Brave Blossoms' squad before the opening match of the Rugby World Cup against Russia.

As the team went through their final paces at Tokyo Stadium, the excitement and tension was palpable, with four years of planning for Jamie Joseph's side reaching its final stage.

Friday's match, which opens the first tournament held outside the game's traditional heartlands, is expected to draw a record domestic television audience for a Rugby World Cup fixture.

The pressure is on for Japan as hosts, even though they are heavy favourites for the clash against lowly ranked Russia.

"So many media have come today," said Nagare. "It's going to be a match that's going to get a lot of attention. 


"I'll be nervous, but this is a dream match, so I hope to enjoy and play with confidence."

Nagare's role as tone-setter for the Brave Blossoms will be crucial, as they look to play a high-tempo game, while Russia hope to dominate the forwards battle. 

"On game day, I think I'll be nervous, but I hope to communicate as best I can with the other players." 

Japan captain Michael Leitch echoed Nagare's comments.

"I'm so nervous, I've been making all sorts of mistakes in training. There's so many people and so many cameras, but I'm very proud to be part of the World Cup and to be captain of the Japan rugby team."

Joseph, who earned 20 caps for New Zealand, before also playing for Japan at the 1999 World Cup, knows the experience within his coaching staff will be key to keeping a lid on the players' nerves.

He can call upon former Highlanders head coach Tony Brown, currently with Japan as attack coach, as well as a swathe of experienced players in the squad.

"It's always a challenge [to manage nerves]," Brown said. "We have got quite an experienced group around our leadership, with Leitch, Luke Thompson and Fumiaki Tanaka.

"Those guys have got the team under control around nerves and they understand what they have to do."

Japan: 1-Keita Inagaki, 2-Shota Horie, 3-Asaeli Ai Valu, 4-Wimpie van der Walt, 5-James Moore, 6-Michael Leitch (c), 7-Pieter Labuschagne, 8-Kazuki Himeno, 9-Yutaka Nagare, 10-Yu Tamura, 11-Lomano Lava Lemeki, 12-Ryoto Nakamura, 13-Timothy Lafaele,14-Kotaro Matsushima, 15-William Tupou

Reserves: 16-Atsushi Sakate, 17-Isileli Nakajima, 18-Koo Ji-won, 19-Luke Thompson, 20-Hendrik Tui, 21-Fumiaki Tanaka, 22-Rikiya Matsuda, 23-Ryohei Yamanaka

Russia: 1-Valery Morozov, 2-Stanislav Selskii, 3-Kirill Gotovtsev, 4-Andrey Ostrikov 5-Bogdan Fedotko, 6-Vitaly Zhivatov, 7-Tagir Gadzhiev, 8-Nikita Vavilin, 9-Vasily Dorofeev, 10-Yury Kushnarev, 11-Kirill Golosnitskiy, 12-Dmitry Gerasimov, 13-Vladimir Ostroushko, 14-German Davydov, 15-Vasily Artemyev (c)

Reserves: 16-Evgeny Matveev, 17-Andrei Polivalov, 18-Azamat Bitiev, 19-Andrey Garbuzov, 20-Anton Sychev, 21-Dmitry Perov, 22-Ramil Gaisin, 23-Vladislav Sozonov

Essential Guide to 2019 Rugby World Cup

Everything you need to know about rugby and the World Cup...

The ninth Rugby World Cup kicks off on September 20 in Japan - the first time it has been hosted in Asia.

Join us for live updates of the All Blacks v South Africa World Cup clash from 9:45 pm Saturday.