The T-shirts worn by the NEC players at the end of the 40th All-Japan Championship summed it up – “NEC Miracle 7.” Having finished seventh in the Kanto League and being forced into a playoff to reach the national stages of the Company Championship, NEC finished the season as champion of Japan following a pulsating 36-26 win over Suntory at the National Stadium in Tokyo on Sunday.

“Unbelievable,” said assistant coach Tom Barker after the game. “The boys were really switched on mentally today and our defense was superb. It was very satisfying.”

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