Yamaha Jubilo made history on Sunday by securing their sixth successive victory of the 2016 Top League campaign, therefore equalling a club record of six straight league wins from the 2005 season. The Shizuoka club ran out 53-0 winners against Kubota Spears, who continue to endure a miserable start to the season. Male Sa’u notched a brace of tries for Yamaha, while Takeshi Hino kept up his try-scoring form by crossing for his sixth try of the campaign.
Suntory also maintained their 100% start to the season with a 41-8 victory over Munakata Sanix Blues on a rainy Saturday afternoon in Nagasaki. Sungoliath winger Takaaki Nakaduru bagged a hat-trick of tries after scoring two last weekend – the 25-year-old now has six tries in his last three Top League games.
Toshiba were awarded two penalty tries in their 31-12 defeat of bottom club Honda Heat and are appear to be back on track having previously lost successive league games for the first time in 34 months.
22-year-old Takuya Yamasawa became the first university student in history to score points in the Top League, bagging 26 of Panasonic’s 56 points in their 51-26 win against NEC. JC Roos’ boot was key for Canon in the early Saturday game at Kumagaya as the former Blue Bulls and Pumas man kicked 16 points in his side’s 31 victory against Toyota Industries Shuttles, who are yet to pick up a win this season.
Fans at Hanazono on Saturday afternoon were treated to a 12-try thriller as Kobelco narrowly edged Ricoh 45-39 courtesy of a late Codey Rei try. Centre Tonisio Vaihu, Jaque Fourie and Andrew Ellis all crossed for Kobe, who now sit third in the Top League table.
Toyota Verblitz survived a late comeback from Kintetsu in the early game at Hanazono, securing a 25-19 win. Kintetsu, who made the final four of the LIXIL Cup (post-season play-off tournament) last season, have won just two of their six matches this season.
NTT Com fly half Junpei Ogura kicked a decisive 77th-minute penalty to see off Coca-Cola 17-14 with neither side scoring points until mid-way through the second forty. Ogura has now scored 67 points this season – only new Yamaha arrival Gerhard van den Heever (69), Codey Rei (74) and Kosei Ono (78) have notched more this season in the Top League.