Japan loses to Fiji in PNC opener

Kyodo, AP

Japan suffered its first loss under Eddie Jones as the Brave Blossoms went down 25-19 at the hands of Fiji in their Pacific Nations Cup opener on Tuesday.

Ayumu Goromaru scored 14 of Japan’s points. The hosts were awarded a penalty try midway through the second half.

Setareki Koroilagilagi led the Fijians with 10 points from the set piece, despite missing four penalties and a conversion. Aisake Katonibau, Waisea Nayacalevu and Vereniki Goneva crossed for the islanders.

Samoa beat Tonga 20-18 earlier in the four-way competition.

“That was by far the best lesson we’ve had this year,” Jones said. “They scored three tries from turnovers so while I am disappointed by the result, I am encouraged by the performance.”