New Zealand edge it 38-31 in Tokyo

Watch: Japan scare All Blacks in tight game

It was a thriller in Tokyo as Japan gave the All blacks an early Hallowe’en scare, taking them all the way to start the autumn action. At 38-31 to New Zealand, you can get an inkling of what the match was like but check out some of Japan’s highlights. They really threw a lot at the All Blacks.

Here is a try for scrum-half Yutaka Nagare that made it just 21-17 at half-time. And feast your eyes on the offload from Dylan Riley.

And there were metaphorical bloodied noses for the All Blacks at several junctures in the game. New Zealand nine Finlay Christie will break out in cold chills whenever he remembers this moment. Warner Deans is his boogeyman.

The 20-year-old lock – who is New Zealand born – clearly enjoyed the moment too!

Warner Dearns

Japan’s Warner Dearns celebrates after scoring a try (Getty Images)

And of course the Japanese side are renowned for showing flashes of innovation – or at least giving the opposition something different to think about.

Of course it is the All Blacks and they are always a threat. And they started like a steam train (even if this pass from Samisoni Taukei’aho looks a bit wayward) and the hooker Taukei’aho’s bullocking run set up Brodie Retallick for a corking starter.

However, the world-famous lock was given his marching orders by referee Nika Amashukeli after making contact with the neck of Kazuki Himeno as the impressive Brave Blossoms back-rower attempted to pinch the ball as a jackler.

Retallick faces a hearing and could well miss much of New Zealand’s northern tour. New Zealand next face Wales, Scotland and England.

Ian Foster said of the red card incident: “We’re going to have a good look at it. I certainly didn’t see any intention apart from trying to move a body. That’s a process we’ll have to go through.”

As well as Retallick’s try, there were Kiwi scores from Braydon Ennor, Sevu Reece, Caleb Clarke and Hoskins Sotutu.

As for Japan, they have England and France coming up this autumn. Let’s hope for more thrills and spills!

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