• Kyodo


The Panasonic Wild Knights and Toshiba Brave Lupus maintained their unbeaten starts to the Japan Rugby Top League season on Saturday with wins over the Mitsubishi Sagamihara Dynaboars and Honda Heat, respectively.

Panasonic made it three bonus-point wins from as many games as it thrashed the newly promoted Dynaboars 62-10 at Sagamihara Gion Stadium with Iori Kaji bagging a hat trick of five-pointers and David Pocock and Shota Horie also among the try scorers.

The win sees Robbie Deans’ team on 15 points following three rounds of action in the league, which will be won by the team topping the standings in May after 15 games.

Toshiba was indebted to its foreign contingent with South African Coenie van Wyk grabbing a first-half hat trick of tries and former All Blacks Richard Kahui and Matt Todd also crossing the whitewash as it beat Honda 32-23 at Paloma Mizuho Rugby Stadium in Nagoya.

Van Wyk added two conversions and Kahui a drop goal as Todd Blackadder’s team went second on 13 points, four more than the Kobe Kobelco Steelers, who take on Suntory Sungoliath on Sunday.

Argentina international Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias marked his Top League debut with seven points from a penalty and two conversions and Benjamin Ray Yagi weighed in with a brace of five-pointers as the Munakata Sanix Blues defeated the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes 49-19 for their second win of the fledgling campaign.

Japan international Uwe Helu crossed twice and Kwagga Smith, a member of the South Africa squad that won last year’s Rugby World Cup, made it three tries from as many games as Yamaha Jubilo beat the Ricoh Black Rams 38-0 for their second victory of the season.

Australia flyhalf Bernard Foley scored a try two minutes from time that he then converted, and there was also a first TL try for former All Black Ryan Crotty as the Kubota Spears edged the NTT Communications Shining Arcs 28-27.

Sanix has 10 points, Yamaha nine and Kubota eight.

Meanwhile, former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen picked up his first win as director of rugby at Toyota Verblitz as his side, coached by Simon Cron, pounded the Hino Red Dolphins 61-31 with former Japan sevens star Jamie Henry finishing with three tries.

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