• Kyodo


Yamaha Jubilo ensured Canon Eagles’ miserable start to the Japan Rugby Top League season continued Sunday as they hammered Yuki Imamura’s side 69-21 in front of 18,279 at Oita Bank Dome.

Canon — which was forced to install Imamura as head coach 10 days before the season started after Grant Bashford resigned for “personal reasons” — has yet to win a game and sits bottom of the White Conference with just one point to its name.

Yamaha, meanwhile, is second with 20 points, five behind Panasonic Wild Knights.

This season the league has been split into two conferences, Red and White.

Teams play the seven other sides in their conference plus six from the other group to determine the rankings for the end of season playoffs, with the top four sides competing for the league title, which doubles as the All-Japan Championship.

While their second-half performance will give Imamura some hope things can get better, the video review of the first half will not make happy viewing as the Jubilo pack destroyed the Eagles up front and the Jubilo backs made the most of some less-than-average tackling.

Gerhard van den Heever grabbed a brace of tries and there were further five-pointers for Kyosuke Horie, Takeshi Hino, Uwe Hele, Matt McGahan and Viliami Tahitua, with Ayumu Goromaru adding four conversions as Yamaha led 43-0 at halftime.

Tries from Richard Arthur Havili and Naoto Shimada, both of which were converted by Yu Tamura, saw the Eagles start the second half well.

But Yamaha responded with further tries from man-of-the-match Tahitua, Eishin Kuwano, Keita Kato and Male Sa’u with Goromaru adding a further three conversions, while Hosea Saumaki grabbed a consolation effort for Canon.

In the day’s other game, NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes won their third straight game to go fifth in the Red Conference by downing Kintetsu Liners 31-21.

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