SAGAMIHARA, KANAGAWA PREF. – Heiden Bedwell-Curtis’ second-half try lifted Mitsubishi Sagamihara Dynaboars to the franchise’s first Japan Top League victory, a 21-14 win over the NEC Green Rockets on Sunday.
The loss on a rainy day before 3,536 at Sagamihara Gion Stadium, dropped NEC into last place in the 16-team league. New Zealander Greg Cooper, the Dynaboars’ head coach, used to coach the Green Rockets.
Former Sunwolves player Michael Little and his former North Harbour teammate Matt Vaega each scored first-half tries for the hosts that were converted by former Bath player James Wilson.
Koki Yoshikawa opened the scoring with a 13th-minute try, while former All Black Stephen Donald sent the teams into the break even at 14-14 by adding the extras to Fijian center Maritino Nemani’s 37th minute score.
Former Crusader Bedwell-Curtis, however, broke the deadlock in the 61st minute, man-of-the-match Wilson kicked the conversion and the hosts held on for their historic victory.
The Dynaboars, who are playing in the Top League for the second time, entered the game with one bonus-point loss from four games. In the 2007-2008 season, they were relegated after going winless in 13 games.
In Tokyo, Wallaby Bernard Foley kicked seven conversions and scored a late try in Kubota Spears’ 49-12 win over Hino Red Dolphins. Former All Black Ryan Crotty, Harumichi Tatekawa and 2019 World Cup winner Duane Vermeulen all scored tries for the Spears.