Shintaro Ishihara scored a 74th-minute try as Japan snatched a 23-23 draw against France in Nanterre on Saturday.
Considering that France coach Guy Novès is facing increasing calls for him to receive the axe, this draw would have certainly done him no favours, although it’s another memorable result for Japan.
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Despite an unconvincing performance early on, Les Bleus held a 13-8 lead at the break after powerhouse prop Rabah Slimani scored on the stroke of half-time.
Japan briefly took the lead when Shota Horie dotted down early in the second half, but France looked set to take control when Gabriel Lacroix went over to score, while Trinh-Duc continued to kick accurately for goal.
However, Japan refused to give up, and managed to claim a share of the spoils when Ishihara added a third try, although the conversion, unfortunately, went wide for the visitors.
Tries: Slimani, Lacroix
Cons: Trinh-Duc 2
Pens: Trinh-Duc 3
Tries: Horie, Lafaele, Ishihara
Pens: Tamura 2
France: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Gabriel Lacroix, 13 Damian Penaud, 12 Henry Chavancy, 11 Teddy Thomas, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Sekou Macalou, 6 Judicaël Cancoriet, 5 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 4 Romain Taofifenua, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado (c), 1 Jefferson Poirot
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Daniel Kotze, 18 Sebastien Taofifenua, 19 Paul Jedrasiak, 20 Fabien Sanconnie, 21 Antoine Dupont, 22 Mathieu Bastareaud, 23 Hugo Bonneval
Japan: 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Lomano Lemeki, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Yutaka Nagare, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Michael Leitch (c), 6 Kazuki Himeno, 5 Shinya Makabe, 4 Wimpie van der Walt, 3 Jiwon Koo, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki
Replacements: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Shintaro Ishihara, 18 Asaeli Ai Valu, 19 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 20 Fetuani Lautami, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Sione Teaupa, 23 Yoshikazu Fujita
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: George Clancy (Ireland), Joy Neville (Ireland)
TMO: Sean Davey (England)