Four teams have opened the season with 7-1 records: Iwate and Toyama in the East and Hamamatsu and Kyoto from the West. Shiga, meanwhile, coming off a bye week, is 5-1.

The Phoenix’s super start under veteran coach Tomoya Higashino is the result of new players coming together quickly and giving the veteran mainstays a boost. They’ve meshed well together, and now they have a bye week before facing the Grouses Nov. 8-9 in Toyama Prefecture.

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