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SANZAAR super stars continue to shine in Japan

Beauden Barrett /Getty

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Former Wallabies vice-captain Samu Kerevi was a try-scorer for the fourth match running as Suntory Sungoliath returned to the top of the Japanese Top League standings with a resounding 73-5 victory over Toshiba Brave Lupus in Tokyo.


Kerevi took his try tally for the season to six, scoring two of his side’s nine five-pointers as Suntory registered their fourth consecutive bonus-point win to open the season.

The tries were complemented by 24 points from the boot of All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett as Suntory made short work of their opponents in a match that had been postponed a week after lightning strikes in the surrounding area had forced the original game to be called off for safety reasons 15 minutes into the contest.

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Neil Back guests on The Offload:
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Queensland lock Harry Hockings and former Wallabies flanker Sean McMahon also featured for Suntory, who gained revenge after having been beaten 26-19 by Toshiba in round one of last year’s tournament.

The win lifted Suntory to the top of the table in the competition’s red conference, one point ahead of Bernard Foley’s Kubota Spears and Michael Hooper’s Toyota Verblitz.

All three teams are still unbeaten as the competition heads into the final three weekends of the preliminary phase.


Kerevi will square off against Hooper when their two teams clash next weekend, and will face Foley the following week when Suntory meets Kubota.

The final placings from the preliminaries determine seeding for the knockout rounds, which sees the top six teams from each conference given a bye on the first weekend on April 17 and 18, while the top four qualifiers from the second-tier challenger tournament enter the competition.

They will include Will Genia and Quade Coopers’ Kintetsu Liners, who today qualified for the final of the challenger tournament after swamping the Coca-Cola Red Sparks 71-11.

Cooper scored 26 points, from two tries and eight conversions, while Genia also crossed as Kintetsu ran away with the game after having led just 12-11 at the 30-minute mark.



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