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Japanese efforts against All Blacks impress recovering coach

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jrfu.org and James Mortimer     03 Nov 2013     Getty Images

But both said the team needed to play at that level for much longer if it is to break into the world's top 10.

It was a good first 20 minutes but to beat a top-10 side we have to be able to do it for 50 minutes. Our target is the next two years (Rugby World Cup in 2015). We can definitely do it,” Jones said after watching the 54-6 from his hospital bed, where he is recovering from a stroke.

Wisemantel said the 20-minute mark “was when we gave away a few cheap tries and let the game slip,” and that the main reason for the loss was Japan's lack of speed at the breakdown.

“The second New Zealand player was quicker than our second player. We lost the game in the contact areas,” he rued.

But as Jones pointed out, the Japan team hadn't been together for long.

“We did it on just a five-day preparation camp from the Top League to the All Blacks test,” he said.

Wisemantel was happy the scrum had performed well and he was confident the team would get better the more exposure they have to top-level rugby.

“There were a lot of positives today. The way we always endeavoured to attack with and without the ball. It was just a few errors that cost us a few cheap tries.”

The 43-year-old Australian will remain in charge of the team when they Japan travel to Europe on Sunday. The Brave Blossoms face Scotland in Edinburgh on Nov. 9, take on Gloucester on March 12 and Russia in North Wales three days later, before flying to Madrid to take on Spain on Nov. 23.

Jones, for his part, is hoping he will be back by the spring.

“I am moving forward towards coming back for next spring's Asian 5 Nations and have started a rehab program,” he said.