• Kyodo

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Japan showed its attacking ability with three late tries Thursday, but it was not enough to prevent a third-straight pool stage loss as it went down 29-15 to Australia in the Women’s Rugby World Cup.

With losses to Australia, Ireland and France, Japan finished at the bottom of the four-team Pool C standings while France led with a 3-0 record to advance to the semifinals. Australia earned its first win of the tournament and will battle for fifth place.

Australia raced away to a 19-0 lead on tries from Samantha Treherne, Grace Hamilton and Mahalia Murphy at University College Dublin, and Japan finally responded 46 minutes in, when Saki Minami fought her way over the try line.

Japan’s second-half charge narrowed its opponent’s advantage to just four points, but Australia pulled away in the final 14 minutes with two more tries from Nareta Marsters and Treherne, who crossed for a double in the 72nd minute after slotting two conversions.

“It’s my fault that we weren’t able to win,” said Japan coach Goshi Arimizu.

On Tuesday, Japan will face Italy in the playoffs to determine the ninth- to 12th-place teams. The final for the 12-team tournament takes place Aug. 26 at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast.

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