Positive Signs from Sunwolves


The Sunwolves may have lost their third straight game in this year's Super Rugby competition but it was a much improved performance from Filo Tiatia's team against the Cheetahs. Here are highlights of the game. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21TiQxhBvZI Here is Kyodo News' take. http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2017/03/463149.html One of South Africa's top rugby journos, Brenden Nel, was at the press conference and kindly allowed us to use these … [Read more...]

Tough Start for Sunwolves


(photos provided by Inside Sport Japan) The Sunwolves have endured a tough start to their second season. Following a less than impressive warm-up game against the Top League All-Stars, the Sunwolves were hammered by defending champions the Hurricanes in their season opener. They then travelled to Singapore where they were beaten by the Kings. Kyodo News was there to cover all the action and Inside Sports Japan were there to take some photos at … [Read more...]

Sunwolves Preview 2017


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

japan top league champions

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

rugby japan

  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

Japan Top league

  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


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

rugby news japan

  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...]