Sunwolves Preview 2017

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Rugby News Japan wrote the following Sunwolves preview for Inside Sports Japan.  Photos from Inside Sports Japan. The Sunwolves kick off their second season of Super Rugby on Saturday with a home game against the defending champions from New Zealand, the Hurricanes. Japan's Super Rugby side approach the new semester with a new head coach, a much bigger squad and a belief they can do better than their debut season on the competition when they finished with one win, one draw and 13 … [Read more...]

Suntory Complete League and Cup Double

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(Photos by John Gunning of Inside Sport Japan) The Japanese domestic season drew to a close last weekend with Suntory Sungoliath achieving the league and cup double. http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2017/01/456040.html However the game was not without controversy. http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2017/02/456863.html Kyodo News also produced a wrap of the promotion/relegation games. http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2017/01/455937.html The make-up of the Top League for 2017-18 was … [Read more...]

Top League Wrap Week 15

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The 2016-17 Top League reached its conclusion with Suntory Sungoliath crowned champions following an action packed final weekend. http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2017/01/453560.html The day after, Takaaki Nakazuru was surprisingly named league MVP ahead of Kosei Ono, who had an outstanding season for Suntory. http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2017/01/453656.html NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes were promoted (to replace Honda Heat) while the three other places in the Top League and new … [Read more...]

Top League Wrap Week 14

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  Things got a lot clearer in the Top League following Round 14 action. At the top, Suntory remained unbeaten and need two points from their final game to secure their 4th league title. Yamaha still have a chance of bagging their first title if Suntory slip up, while Panasonic booked their spot in the All-Japan Championship. At the bottom, Honda were relegated, while Coca-Cola, Toyota Shokki and Kintetsu Liners will play in the promotion/relegation playoffs. Round 14 … [Read more...]

Top League Wrap Week 13

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Suntory are in pole position for the Top League title after they beat Yamaha on Xmas Eve. At the other end of the table it looks more like Honda Heat will finish in the automatic relegation spot. Round 13 Results Canon 27 Kubota 15 Ricoh 41 Toyota Shuttles 14 NEC 27 Coca-Cola 3 Panasonic 55 Sanix 14 NTT Comms 40 Honda 3 Suntory 41 Yamaha 24 Toshiba 32 Toyota Verblitz 31 Kobe Steel 38 Kintetsu 8 Here are the … [Read more...]

Top League Round 12 Wrap Up

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  With three rounds to play in the Japan Rugby Top League, there is just 1 point between 1st and 2nd. And Japanese rugby fans get the perfect Xmas present with Yamaha Jubilo up against Suntory Suntory on Dec. 24 in a game that will almost certainly decide which team wins the league. Round 12 Results Toyota Shuttles 49 Honda 24 Suntory 37 Toyota Verblitz 24 Kubota 36 Coca-Cola 17 Canon 45 NEC 21 Yamaha 33 Kobe Steel 15 Toshiba 59 Kintetsu 12 NTT Comms 33 Sanix 7 Panasonic 45 … [Read more...]

Sunwolves Rising as One

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The Sunwolves announced their squad for 2017 this week. RNJ guest writer Jay Collins gives a rundown of the players, while John Gunning from Inside Sport: Japan was there with his camera for us. Fumiaki Tanaka and Kotaro Mastushima join the Sunwolves this season in a new-look squad as they attempt to “Rise as one” to meet the tougher challenges of facing the formidable New Zealand sides in the next Super Rugby season. On paper this looks like a radically different Sunwolves team to the … [Read more...]

Big Names Debut in Week 11

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  Round 11 saw Yamaha Jubilo and Suntory Sungoliath keep on winning, David Pocock and Stephen Donald make their Top League debuts and Kenki Fukuoka equal a league record with six tries in a game. And just for good measure Fourie du Preez was back in town too. Week 11 Results Panasonic 69 Honda 14 Suntory 48 Coca-Cola 12 Kubota 21 Ricoh 18 Canon 17 Kintetsu 10 Yamaha 47 NEC 5 Kobe Steel 30 Toshiba 24 Sanix 15 Toyota Verblitz 14 Toyota Shuttles 33 NTT Comms … [Read more...]

Top League Action Resumes

Yamaha vs. Suntory on December 24th Could be the Match of the Season

  The Japan Rugby Top League resumed following its four-week break for the November tests. Yamaha Jubilo and Suntory Sungoliath remained unbeaten and on course for a title decider when they meet on Dec. 24. Yamaha 63 Toyota Shuttles 7 Suntory 29 NTT Comms 5 NEC 38 Kintetsu 31 Toyota Verblitz 25 Canon 21 Ricoh 34 Honda 10 Panasonic 34 Kubota 25. Kobe Steel 60 Sanix 21 Coca-Cola 22 Toshiba 17 The Top Challenge Series also got underway to determine which sides will be … [Read more...]

Top League Round 9 Wrap Up

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  The Top League heads into the November break with 9 rounds played and Yamaha Jubilo and Suntory Sungoliath still unbeaten. In an action-packed weekend, Honda Heat picked up their first win of the season to move off the bottom. Round 9 Results Canon 35 Sanix 5 NTT Comms 34 Toshiba 29 Toyota Verblitz 20 Ricoh 16 Yamaha 50 Coca-Cola 11 NEC 38 Kobe Steel 24 Panasonic 60 Toyota Shokki 7 Suntory 38 Kubota 0 Honda 36 Kintetsu 20 Here are the … [Read more...]