Berrick Barnes kicked eight points to lead Ricoh Black Rams past Munakata Sanix Blues 18-16 on Sunday for their first win of the Japan Top League season.
The former Wallaby and 2013-2014 Top League MVP for Panasonic Wild Knights opened the scoring with two early penalties before converting a Keagen Faria try.
Jason Emery, who played the past two seasons for Super Rugby’s Sunwolves, made it a two-point margin with a 57th-minute penalty. But he missed a 3-pointer 11 minutes later that could have meant victory for the Blues in front of their home fans at Fukuoka’s Level 5 Stadium.
In Suzuka, Mie Prefecture, Honda Heat lost 23-21 at home to Kubota Spears, who tied it on Ryoma Shirai’s 77th-minute try and won it when Australia’s Bernard Foley added the extras. Foley kicked two conversions and three penalties to open his scoring account for the Spears.