Japan wins Asian Five Nations opener

DAEGU, South Korea (Kyodo) Defending champion Japan clobbered South Korea 71-13 in its opener of the 2010 Asian Five Nations on Saturday.

Kosuke Endo was the man to watch, scoring five of Japan’s 11 tries at Gyeongsan Rugby Stadium. South Korea slipped to its second defeat.

John Kirwan’s side got off to a sluggish start and only led 19-3 at halftime before breaking the game open in the second stanza.

Japan, which is bidding for its seventh consecutive World Cup appearance, heads back to Tokyo to take on the Arabian Gulf at Chichibu Memorial Ground on May 8. The clear favorites, the Brave Blossoms are seeking their third straight title.