Japan Rugby Top League 2020 Round Three Wrap-up

Japan Rugby Top League 2020


Round Three Wrap-up



Round 3

Date Team Score Team K/O Venue
Sat, 25 Jan 2020 Mitsubishi Sagamihara 10-62 Panasonic 13:00 Sagamihara, Kanagawa
Honda 23-32 Toshiba 11:30 Mizuho Stadium, Aichi
Toyota 61-31 Hino 14:00 Mizuho Stadium, Aichi
Ricoh 0-38 Yamaha 13:00 Takebishi Stadium, Kyoto
Kubota 28-27 NTT Communications 13:00 Expo Stadium, Osaka
Sanix 49-19 NTT Docomo 13:00 Global Arena, Fukuoka
Sun, 26 Jan 2020 Canon 38-12 NEC 13:00 Yokohama, Kanagawa
Kobe 35-29 Suntory 13:00 Kobe, Hyogo


At the Sagamihara Gion Stadium in Kanagawa prefecture on Saturday, Panasonic Wild Knights demolished Mitsubishi Sagamihara Dynaboars 62-10. Panasonic made it three bonus-point wins in a row with this ten-tries-to-one rout of newly promoted Mitsubishi Sagamihara. The tries were shared around for the Wild Knights with former Wallabies back-rower David Pocock and Japan international hooker Shota Horie among those to cross the Mitsubishi whitewash. Japan international five-eighth Rikiya Matsuda further contributed with six conversions.


In the first game of a double header at the Paloma Mizuho Stadium in Nagoya on Saturday afternoon, Toshiba Brave Lupus made it three wins from three starts when they beat Honda Heat 32-23. Toshiba fullback Coenraad van Wyk was the first-half hero with three tries and two conversions helping to set up a 24-8 lead at the break. Although the Heat went on to win the second half, the deficit was too much to overcome with the Brave Lupus running out comfortable winners in the end.


In the second game at Mizuho, Toyota Verblitz trounced Hino Red Dolphins 61-31. After two losses in the opening rounds, the Verblitz hit their stride to run in nine tries to four to collect their first win of the season. The big names stood up for Toyota with wing Jamie Henry bagging a first half hat-trick while South African international fullback Willie le Roux and Japan international back-rower Kazuki Himeno also got their names in the try scorers’ list. On any other day, 31 points would have secured the Red Dolphins a win. However, in this high-scoring affair, they were left in the Toyota wake.


Ricoh Black Rams and Yamaha Jubilo travelled to the ancient capital of Kyoto for this clash at the Takebishi Stadium Kyoto. The Black Rams had no answers to the Yamaha onslaught with the Jubilo steaming home to a 38-0 win. Japan international lock Uwe Helu got the ball rolling with two early tries, and from that point on, Ricoh were never in the contest. Yamaha scored three tries in either half with hooker Takeshi Hino also among the try scorers.


At the Expo Stadium in Osaka on Saturday, Kubota Spears edged NTT Communications Shining Arcs 28-17 in a one-point thriller. At the end of the first quarter, the Spears seemed to all but have the result in the bag with three converted tries giving them a commanding 21-0 lead. However, the tenacious Shining Arcs fought back to lead 27-21 going in to the final minutes of the match. Former Wallabies playmaker Bernard Foley was the hero in the end with a try and conversion at the death allowing Kubota to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. NTT also scored four tries with centre Takuya Ishibashi and South African hooker Malcolm Marx both scoring a brace.


At the Global Arena in Fukuoka, Munakata Sanix Blues out-gunned NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes 49-19. Sanix chalked up their second win of the season with this six-tries-to-three victory giving them the added bonus point. The Blues got out of the blocks fast with early tries to wings Hiroki Yamada and Benjamin Ray Yagi along with a conversion and a penalty to Argentine fullback Santiago Gonzalez giving the home side a 15-0 lead. The Red Hurricanes narrowed the gap to 18-14 by halftime only for the Blues to pull away again as the second half progressed. The Blues added four further tries in the latter period to blow out the final score line.


On Sunday, Canon Eagles and NEC Green Rockets went head to head at the Nippatsu Mitsuzawa Stadium in Yokohama with the Eagles coming out on top 38-12. Canon made it two wins in a row in Yokohama with this five-tries-to two effort giving them the bonus point. For the Green Rockets, however, the horror start to the season continues with three straight losses keeping them on the bottom of the table. Loose head prop Takato Okabe picked up a brace for Canon while flyhalf Yu Tamura converted all five tries and added a penalty. For the vanquished, centre Amanaki Savieti and Taku Hirosawa from the bench scored the tries for NEC.


In the final game of round three, powerhouses Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers and Suntory Sungoliath clashed at the Noevir Stadium Kobe in the undisputed match of the round with the Steelers taking the honours 35-29. Reigning champions Kobe Steel kept their unbeaten run intact this season with a grueling four tries to three win over a gritty Suntory. Dan Carter again proved his tremendous value as three conversions and three penalties kept the scoreboard constantly ticking over. Although it is still early in the season, the Steelers are well on their way to defend their Top League title.