15 Sep 2011

Japan out to banish memories of humiliating 1995 World Cup loss to All Blacks

6:40 pm on 15 September 2011

Banishing memories of Japan's humiliation at the hands of the All Blacks at 1995 World Cup is motivating the Brave Blossoms, ahead of their test in Hamilton tomorrow night.

It'll be just the second time the two sides have played each other at the World Cup.

In South Africa 16 years ago the All Blacks won 145-17, posting the highest score in a World Cup match in process.

It also produced several other records including most points in a World Cup match by one player - Simon Culhane scoring 45 and most tries in a match by one player with Marc Ellis scoring six.

Japan's coach, former All Black winger John Kirwan, in confident there won't says a repeat of the 1995 result is unfathomable given the improvement in the structure of Japanese rugby since 1995.

A stronger domestic league and inclusion in the Pacific Nations Cup over the last five years has also helped.

Japan, ranked 13th in the world, won their first Pacific Nations title this year heading off Samoa, Tonga and Fiji in the process.

In their opening match of this year's tournament Japan lost 47-21 to France.