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Koroibete out to maintain tryscoring touch in Japan

By AAP
(Photo by Kenta Harada/Getty Images)

Wallabies winger Marika Koroibete will be hoping to return to his tryscoring ways when the Saitama Wild Knights take on the Green Rockets in Japan Rugby League One this weekend.

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New Australia coach Eddie Jones will be keeping a close eye on the form of the Fijian flyer, who is expected to play a pivotal part in the World Cup squad this year.

Koroibete has scored three tries in his previous two matches for the unbeaten Knights but was contained by the Yokohama Eagles defence in round six.

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Sunday’s clash will also pit former Wallabies and Super Rugby-winning coaches Michael Cheika and Robbie Deans against each other, albeit for just the second time in their careers.

Deans won their first encounter when the Knights beat the Rockets last year.

While Cheika largely carries out his Japanese duties from afar with former Sydney University coach Rob Taylor his supervisor on the ground, Deans is hands on at Saitama.

His expertise has led the Knights to five titles in Japan, the same number he won with the Crusaders.

The two-time defending champions are already looking ominous this year, with a last-gasp 21-19 victory over Yokohama – their sixth win of the campaign – in the previous round.

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The Rockets and former Wallaby halfback Nick Phipps face a herculean task with Cheika’s men drawing a blank in last weekend’s 21-0 loss to the Shizuoka Blue Revs, going scoreless in the second half in two straight losses.

In other Division One matches, Bernard Foley’s Kubota Spears Tokyo Bay visit Steve Hansen’s Verblitz and the Peter Hewat-coached Black Rams line up at Yokohama.

Will Genia’s Hanazono Liners welcome the Blue Revs to Osaka while the Sagamihara Dynaboars host the Kobe Steelers.

Tokyo Sungoliath prepares for their biggest game of the year against local rivals Brave Lupus Tokyo.

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With both sides in hot form, and sitting third and fourth on the competition ladder, Sunday’s derby should add another significant chapter to their storied 43-year rivalry.

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Shaylen 9 hours ago
Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it

The Brumbies have been the strongest side in Australia for a long time and that was down to their forwards and set piece which has always been good and has always been able to dominate their Australian counterparts. This year the lack of maul tries and also the lack of a stable scrum has been a real problem which was also something Nick alluded to in his article this week about the creaking brumbies tight five. Home advantage is key as you say and the Brumbies must find a way to score more bonus points. If the Brumbies are really serious about winning a title they need to do what Kiwi sides at the top do. They need to smash every Aus side with a bonus point at home while claiming losing bonus points in every game they lose and denying their rivals bonus points. In their 3 losses in NZ this year they were smashed. They only scored 60 tries which is middle of the road, their scrum came in at 73% which was one of the worst in the comp, tackle success at just 83% which was right at the bottom and in terms of metres, clean breaks, carries, offloads and rucks built they were in the middle plus they had the most yellows. They basically were just not dominant enough wile they can improve their discipline. They excelled at kicking and won plenty of lineout ball plus their rucks were secure at 97%. Not sure about turnovers but they weren’t bad there. They just need to be more clinical and give away less and they will give themselves the best chance to win the title.

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FEATURE Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it
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