Kazakhstan and Japan Win Respective Second Round WXV 2023 Matches
Both Asian national women’s teams in the WXV 2023 won their respective second-round fixtures, with Kazakhstan beating Kenya 18-12 in WXV3, and Japan defeating Samoa 32-10 in WXV2. Both Asian teams had lost their opening matches.
Kazakhstan Defeat Kenya in WXV 3
Feature Photo: DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 20: Darya Tkachyova of Kazakhstan is tackled by Freshia Odour of Keyna during the WXV 3 2023 match between Kenya and Kazakhstan at The Sevens Stadium on October 20, 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Christopher Pike – World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)
Kazakhstan secured their first victory in the WXV 2023 tournament, but most impressive about the win was shrugging off the massive defeat they suffered against Ireland in the opening weekend in Dubai.
The Kazakhstan Nomads took an early lead against the Kenya Lionesses when scrum-half Daiana Kazibekova scored the first points of the tournament for her team with a try. Despite a Kenyan defensive wall, Kazakhstan hooker Moldir Askhat extended her team’s lead with her pack’s powerful maul allowing her to cross over the try line, well supported by front-row colleague Natalya Kamendrovskaya. The Kazakhs took a 10-0 lead into the halftime break.
The second half saw Kenya replacement Grace Okulu being yellow carded in the 49th minute following a TMO review and Yeva Bekker took advantage of the extra player to add a third Kazakh try and made it 15-0.
Kenya responded well but their poor discipline at the breakdown was costly. In the 64th minute, Kazakhstan won a penalty and Gulim Bakytpek made it an 18-0 lead with her successful kick.
The African side was not done. Okulu on again following her sin-bin, set up Stella Wafula for her side’s first tournament points and added the conversion to narrow the score to 18-7. Kenya’s Prisca Nyerere added a second try which was unconverted in the 74th minute and brought her side within six points,
Kenya secured a penalty advantage close to the Kazakhstan try-line but despite some valiant efforts, the ball was turned over with the clock in the red and secured a win for Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan next plays Fiji on Friday 27th October 2023 in WXV3. A win for Kazakhstan could see them topple Fiji on the able and finish 3rd.
Japan Beat Samoa in WXV 2 2023
Japan secured a bonus-point win in Cape Town and bounced back strongly from their opening weekend loss to Italy.
Despite Samoa going into the lead 10-3 by the 26th minute, Japan Sakura Fifteen, Iroha Nagata added a try and Ayasa Otsuka slotted the conversion and a 37th-minute penalty to take her team into the break leading 13-10 of the Pacific Islanders. Seina Saito also had seen her try disallowed by the TMO in the half
The Japanese played some wonderful rugby with the ball in hand and moved the pill around the park. In the 47th minute blindside flanker Sakurako Korai finished a good team move and the unconverted try meant it was 18-10.
The Asian side made the most of two successive yellow cards to the Samoan in the second half; Samoa’s Wright-Akeli was yellow carded for slowing down an attack with a deliberate knock-on in the 54th minute followed by right winger Linda Fiafia yellow carded for head-on-head contact in a covering tackle.
Although the Sakura XV butchered some good chances when there were wide open spaces beckoning, or final passes not being made, centre Haruka Hirotsu finally added a converted try in the 65th minute.
Samow had all fifteen players back on the park for the final 9 minutes but Nao Ando added Japan’s bonus-point fourth try which was converted again by Otsuka for a final score of 32-10. Japanese scrum-half Megumi Abe was named the WXV 2 Mastercard player of the match.
Japan’s final game is a tough fixture against Scotland on the 27th of October, with the Europeans joint top of the table with Italy for WXV2.
WXV News 2023
- Japan vs Samoa – WXV 2 2023 Match Preview.
- Kazakhstan vs Kenya – WXV 3 2023 Match Preview.
- WXV 2023 Complete Guide.
- WXV 3 Team Guide.
- WXV 2 2023 Team Guide.