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Australia see off Japan in the battle for bronze

Australia claimed the first medal of the week in the final day of action when they managed to beat Japan for a second time in five days, writes Nathaniel Holland.


The world champions knew that their spell at the top of the rankings was over following defeat to USA a day previous but they did not let that affect their solid performance against a tricky Japan team, winning the game 60-55.


Having already narrowly beaten the world number four team on Tuesday 65-62, Brad Dubberley knew he would have to set his side up for another challenging encounter with a medal at stake.


The tournament has shown an array of talent throughout the week and the opening exchanges were heavily influenced by two of the stars of the week, Ryley Batt and Daisuke Ikezaki.


Both teams exchanged early tries, as it was a game of patience and tactics to see who could overturn possession and start to build a lead.


With the scores all level in the early minutes, Batt’s partner in crime Chris Bond made a huge difference from the bench, rolling over to score four tries as Australia took a three point lead into the first interval.


Batt was given a breather on the touchline heading into the second period and Bond, with the help of Matt Lewis, were continuing to cause Japan problems.


Lewis managed to score a hat trick of tries in the second period as Japan let the lead slip to five points at half time with the score at 33-28.


Japan knew that they had to start the second half strongly and they did just that with Shinichi Shimakawa scored a quick treble as they pulled the score back to within three points.


Australia replied instantly and restored a big lead with Batt determined not to let his nation slip out of the top three in the world.


The fourth quarter was routine for Australia as Japan struggled to overturn play as they desperately tried to get something from the game.


Australia managed the clock in the closing stages and confirmed their podium finish with a 60-55 victory.