Panasonic, Suntory Head Respective Groups After 4 Rounds

TOKYO (Sept. 9) – Round 4 of Japan Rugby Top League action came to a conclusion Saturday with Panasonic Wild Knights and Suntory Sungoliath heading their respective groups.

Panasonic maintained their perfect start to the season as they ran in 10 tries in a 64-17 win over Coca-Cola Red Sparks.

Kenki Fukuoka grabbed a hat-trick and Keisuke Moriya a brace to ensure Robbie Deans’ side head the White Conference with a maximum 20 points.

Yamaha Jubilo are five points back in second place thanks to a 35-12 victory over Ricoh Black Rams 35-12.

Kyosuke Horie ran in three tries for Yamaha, while Ayumu Goromaru added a try and three conversions.

Meanwhile, Suntory jumped above Kobe Kobelco Steelers to head the Red Conference following a 36-11 victory over NTT Communications Shining Arcs.

Hendrik Tui and Kotaro Matsushima both crossed the chalk twice as Suntory made it 19 points from four games.

The Steelers are second with 18 points while Toyota Verblitz are third with 15 thanks to a 23-18 victory over Toshiba Brave Lupus.

Former Japan sevens player Jamie Henry scored a try for Verblitz and was named man-of-the-match, while Lionel Cronje weighed in with two penalties and a conversion.

In the day’s other games, newly promoted NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes picked up their second win of the season as they beat Munakata Sanix Blues 29-19.

Grant Hattingh and Patrick Osborne were among the try scorers as Kubota Spears beat Toyota Industries Shuttles 27-19, while Kintetsu Liners, kept Canon Eagles winless, triumphing 25-20 with Ruan Combrinck scoring his first Top League five-pointer.