Suntory Sungoliath recorded the biggest victory of the 2016-17 Top League season to far with their 50-0 thumping of Honda Heat, marking Suntory’s complete first shut-out in the Japanese top flight in almost a decade (Dec 12th 2006 v NEC – 43-0). George Smith scored his first Top League try since returning to Suntory, sandwiched between a Hendrik Tui double to put the Tokyo team on the path to victory.
Toshiba also made it two wins from two this season after defeating NEC 25-8 in Tokyo on Friday evening. It was Hikaru Tamura, who came out on top against brother Yu, as the stand-offs crossed paths for the first time in the Top League. Liam Messum, Yoshitaka Tokunaga, Shohei Toyoshima and Takahiro Ogawa all crossed for Lupus.
Yamaha hooker Takeshi Hino bagged a brace of tries in Yamaha’s 35-16 win over Canon, while Berrick Barnes scored 20 of Panasonic’s 30 points as they saw off Kobelco 30-6 to bounce back from their opening weekend defeat to Kubota in the other two Friday evening fixtures.
Kubota were unable to replicate their heroics from that Panasonic victory on matchday 2 as they succumbed to a 27-10 defeat to Toyota Verblitz in Sapporo. Verblitz are the only team to have secured maximum points from the opening two matchdays and consequently top the table.
Andrew Everingham became the second player to bag a hat-trick of tries this season in Sanix’s 41-38 win over Toyota Industries. Stand-off Hiroshi Tashiro kicked a penalty two minutes from time to secure the Kyushu club’s second win on the bounce in their latest stint in the top flight.
Two tries from Brackin Karauria-Henry helped NTT Com to a 28-13 win over Ricoh in the Saturday evening game in Tokyo, while Luke Thompson, Jean Cook and Andre Taylor notched a try each in Kintetsu Liners' first win of the season as they were 26-19 winners over Coca-Cola.