Sungoliath end Top League in first


New Japan coach Eddie Jones’ Suntory Sungoliath beat Kobe Kobelco Steelers 32-28 to finish the Top League season in first place on Sunday.

Suntory, which won 12 of 13 to end up two points ahead of Toshiba Brave Lupus, will head to the four-way Top League playoffs starting Feb. 19 at Tokyo’s Chichibunomiya Stadium, where it will face fourth-place NEC Green Rockets.

Toshiba takes on Panasonic Wild Knights in third. The final is on Feb. 26.

The two finalists will receive a bye into the semifinals of next month’s national championship, Jones’ last club job before he officially takes over the national team.