Rugby

Andy Ellis shines as Steelers whip Blues

KYODO

The Kobe Kobelco Steelers moved to the top of the Red Conference thanks to a 69-5 hammering of the Munakata Sanix Blues in Saturday’s only Japan Rugby Top League game.

The Round 2 game was originally slated for Sept. 8 but was postponed as a result of the earthquake that hit Hokkaido two days earlier.

The teams flew up from Kansai and Kyushu, respectively, to battle it out at Tsukisamu Open Stadium.

Former All Black Andy Ellis scored three tries and had a hand and boot in two others as Dave Dillon’s side improved to three wins and a draw to head the group on 15 points.

Ryohei Yamanaka and Richard Buckman both weighed in with two tries apiece, and there were further five-pointers for Shohei Shikata, Ryuhei Arita, Daiki Hashimoto and Shinsuke Iseki with Nicholas Ealey, who was born in the Hokkaido capital, adding seven conversions.

Andrew Everingham was Sanix’s lone try scorer.

The Toyota Verblltz are second in the Red Conference with 13 points, one more than the Suntory Sungoliath.

The Panasonic Wild Knights, the only other unbeaten side in the league, lead the White Conference with 17 points, three more than Yamaha Jubilo and the Ricoh Black Rams. The Toshiba Brave Lupus are fourth on 11 points.