Japan will play in their third straight Junior World Rugby Trophy final, this time against hosts United States after another exciting and close game – their fourth straight nailbiter of the tournament.
The Japanese, who held off a strong Georgia team 36-29 to advance, have been here before. The Brave Blossoms fell to Italy 36-7 in the 2010 JWRT final and narrowly lost to Samoa 31-24 in last year's championship.
So is it a case of third time lucky?
"In Japanese, third time is the best, too. We believe that," Japan head coach Ryuji Nakatake said. "Some of the players know the difficulty of playing in the final. It is not the same as the pool games."
In the final game of the day, the Americans defeated Russia 36-13 to clinch their second berth in a JWRT final and will try to be the first host nation to win the tournament. Mike Te'o scored two tries and full back Madison Hughes continued to close in on the JWRT points record as USA comfortably progressed to the final. Hughes has 72 points in the tournament – just 10 short of Romania's Stefan Patrascu's all-time record.
Meanwhile, Tonga winger Hosea Saumaki continued his strong tournament, scoring three tries to lead the Sea Eagles to an easy 41-14 victory over Chile. Saumaki has scored a tournament-leading total of seven tries.
Earlier in the day, Canada proved too much for Zimbabwe in a remarkably high-scoring opening match, winning 66-45 over a Sables team missing their captain, Justin Coles.
Prior to the 18:00 (local time) final on Saturday, play starts at 12:00 with the seventh-place match where both Zimbabwe and Russia will be looking for their first victory of the tournament. An improving Canada side will face Chile in the fifth-place game at 14:00. Two bruising teams in Tonga and Georgia will play for third place at 16:00. All matches will be held at Murray Rugby Park. All-day tickets cost $5 and all games will be streamed live.