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Kobe qualifies for Top League playoffs

Kyodo

Kobe Kobelco Steelers locked up a place in the playoffs to determine the Top League rugby champion Sunday despite going down to their first defeat of the season.

The Steelers lost 29-27 to Toshiba Brave Lupus, but Yuta Imamura’s superb individual try two minutes after the final hooter saw Kobe pick up a bonus point for losing by seven or less, thereby ensuring they cannot finish outside the top four.

The try took the shine off a superb effort by the Toshiba pack. Takehisa Usuzuki, Michael Leitch and Tomoaki Nakai all touched down for Toshiba before a penalty try in the 77th minute sealed the win.