Panasonic Help Yamada Celebrate in Style

TOKYO (Sept. 8) – With one game left to play in Week 2 of the Japan Rugby Top League 2018-19 season, Panasonic Wild Knights top the White Conference and Suntory Sungoliath head the Red Conference.

Akihito Yamada celebrated his 100th Top League game by scoring a try as Panasonic beat Coca-Cola Red Sparks 62-17.

Kenki Fukuoka weighed in with a brace for Robbie Deans’ side and Matt Todd and Harold Vorster scored their first tries in Japan as the Wild Knights made it nine points from a possible 10.

Joining them at the top of the White group are Yamaha Jubilo after 17 unanswered second-half points helped them to a 20-18 win over Kubota Spears.

Fumihiro Yoshizawa and Uwe Helu both crossed for Yamaha with Ayumu Goromaru weighing in with two penalties and two conversions.

Panasonic and Yamaha could be joined at the top by Ricoh Black Rams if they were to win Sunday’s game against Toshiba Brave Lupus with a bonus point.

Saturday’s other game in the White Conference saw Honda Heat draw 19-19 with Canon Eagles.

Lomano Lava Lemeki scored tries in the 40th and 81st minutes for newly promoted Honda, both of which were converted by Pak Song Gi.

Suntory, who beat NTT Communications Shining Arcs on Friday, have eight points and top the Red Conference on points difference from Toyota Industries Shuttles.

The Shuttles picked up their second won of the season on Saturday when a Sam Greene penalty in the 71st minute helped them beat Hino Red Dolphins 15-14.

In the day’s other game, a brace of tries from Jamie Henry helped Toyota Verblitz down NEC Green Rockets 29-5 for their first win of the season.

The Kobe Kobelco Steelers vs Munakata Sanix Blues game slated for Hokkaido was postponed as a result of Thursday’s earthquake.