• Kyodo


On the day Brave Blossoms pinup boy Ayumu Goromaru became just the second player after Ryan Nicholas to pass 1,000 Top League points, Japan captain Michael Leitch took just seven minutes to pick up his first five-pointer of the new season.

Leitch, who was named man-of-the-match, was followed over the whitewash by four others, with Rugby World Cup 2011 winner Richard Kahui bagging a brace, as Toshiba Brave Lupus opened their Group A campaign with a 47-3 thrashing of Kubota Spears at Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground.

Goromaru reached his milestone by converting Yuki Yatomi’s try in the ninth minute, having earlier missed the chance to add the extras to a five-pointer by Mose Tuiali’i, as Katsuyuki Kiyomiya’s men kicked off their Group B season with an 18-11 win over Toyota Verblitz in Nagoya.

The Japan fullback added six more points via two penalties to take him to 1,006, 182 behind Nicholas, who is plying his trade for Mitsubishi Dynaboars this season in Top East following 10 seasons with Suntory Sungoliath.

In the day’s other Group A games, NTT Communications Shining Arcs ruined Tim Nanai-Williams’ TL debut as they beat Ricoh Black Rams 39-12, and Kintetsu Liners downed new boys Honda Heat 25-12.

Meanwhile in Group B, Toyota Industries Shuttles defeated NEC Green Rockets 24-17, and NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes edged Coca Cola Red Sparks 23-19.

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