1. Daiki Toyota (Kintestu): Toyota made 33 metres with his six carries, and will consider himself unfortunate to have ended up on the losing side against Suntory.
2. Takeshi Hino (Yamaha): Hino was at the heart of the Yamaha scrum that was key in inflicting Panasonic’s first Top League defeat in 20 months. Hino won one turnover and 13 of his 15 line-out throws.
3. Yusuke Aoki (Suntory): All 12 of Aoki’s line-outs were successful. He also made five tackles (none missed) in Suntory’s defeat of Kintetsu.
4. Luke Thompson (Kintetsu): The Kintetsu second-row made 16 tackles (none missed) v Suntory, along with five successful line-out catches (none missed).
5. Takeshi Mabuchi (Ricoh): The Ricoh lock didn’t miss a single tackle in his team’s defeat of NEC Green Rockets, also stealing one line-out.
6. Mose Tuiali’i (Yamaha): No player in the Top League won more turnovers than Tuiali’i this weekend (2). The Tongan also made the most carries (10), beat the most defenders (5) and made the most metres (29) among all forwards in their hard-fought win over Panasonic.
7. Malgene Ilaua (Toshiba): The Teikyo University graduate put in a fine defensive display on his first Top League appearance, making more tackles than any other player on matchday 1 (22).
8. Yuki Shishimoto (Kubota) : The 27-year-old made 78 metres against Toshiba, more than any other forward on matchday 1.
9. Takahiro Ogawa (Toshiba): The scrum-half may not have enjoyed the best of days with his boot(3/5), but his 40m gained was a team-best second only to Hisayoshi Matsuoka in their defeat of Kubota.
10. Hiroshi Tashiro (Sanix): Tashiro scored more than half of Munakata’s 33 points in their win against Honda, crossing for two tries and kicking seven points to ensure the Kyushu-based club’s winning start upon their Top League return.
11. Hisayoshi Matsuoka (Toshiba): The 24-year-old contributed to Toshiba’s victory over Kubota with two tries and made 51 metres, more than any other Toshiba player.
12. Steven Yates (Toyota Verblitz): The New Zealand-born centre, now in his seventh season with Verblitz, crossed for a quick-fire hat-trick of tries in the first half to put his side on course for an opening weekend victory against Toyota Industries.
13. Katoni Otukolo (Kubota): Otukolo made twice as many metres than any other Top League player on matchday 1 (189m). The 187cm centre also beat seven defenders - also a league high.
14. Akihito Yamada (Panasonic): Sunwolves’ leading try-scorer from their maiden Super Rugby campaign once again exhibited his agility and quick feet against Yamaha, scoring a brace of tries and beating six defenders.
15. Gerhard van den Heever (Yamaha): The new Yamaha recruit oozed composure at full-back in his first competitive outing for his new club, kicking a decisive nine points (4 from 4, three conversions + 1 pen). The South African also beat five defenders, the most by a Yamaha player (along with Tuiali’i).