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Rugby: Japan pummels Arabian Gulf in World Cup qualifier+
[April 16, 2006]

Rugby: Japan pummels Arabian Gulf in World Cup qualifier+

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)TOKYO, April 16_(Kyodo) _ Japan demolished the Arabian Gulf 82-9 on Sunday, giving the host three points in its qualifying campaign for the 2007 rugby World Cup.

Daisuke Ohata scored three tries and Waseda University student Yuta Imamura made an impressive international debut as Japan took a 27-9 halftime lead at Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground in Tokyo.

Japan had four tries in the first half but picked up the spirit in the second half, crushing its opponent with another nine tries.

Still, the Brave Blossoms appeared to be off their game and head coach Jean-Pierre Elissalde read them the riot act for an insipid performance.

"This was one of the worst performances from a Japan team," he said, adding that Japan will have to prepare better for its match against South Korea next Sunday.

In the Asian zone first qualifying round, the top two teams in Division One, which comprises Japan, South Korea and the Arabian Gulf, will book a spot in the final round to be held in November along with the Division Two winner.

The winner of the final round will automatically advance to next year's World Cup in France, while the runner-up will face a team from the Oceania region in a playoff.

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