Japan push France all the way in Test draw

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    Japan have produced a spirited second-half display to draw 23-23 with France at the U Arena in Nanterre.

    France ended a run of five-straight international defeats but failed to build on a first-half lead of 13-8 after Rabah Slimani went over to add to two Francois Trinh-Duc penalties.

    The Brave Blossoms, who last weekend beat Tonga 39-6 in Toulouse, swiftly got themselves back into the contest after a try from Timothy Lafaele, which Yu Tamura converted to put the tourists ahead.

    However, after Gabriel Lacroix’s try and another Trinh-Duc penalty, his fifth successful kick at goal for the night, Les Bleus looked set to lift the pressure on Guy Noves as they moved into the closing stages 23-18 ahead.

    Japan, though, responded once again as Shintaro Ishihara went over with just seven minutes left to tie the match.

    Tamura missed the conversion for what could have been a remarkable Test win.

    © AAP 2017