Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global

Wallabies star saves the day for Kubota Spears

Bernard Foley and Kazuhiro Taniguchi of Kubota Spears celebrate (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)

Wallabies five-eighth Bernard Foley’s late penalty goal has allowed the Kubota Spears Funabashi Tokyo Bay to remain unbeaten in Japan Rugby League One after a dramatic 40-38 win over the Ricoh Black Rams Tokyo.


The failure to secure a try-scoring bonus point meant the Spears lost the chance to go top of the standings.

Defeat was tough on the Rams, and on former Reds player Isaac Lucas, with the Queenslander having sparked his side’s revival with two tries.

Video Spacer

Video Spacer

While his final kick was the match-winner – and he finished with a personal tally of 20 points – Foley’s yellow card for unfair play after half-an-hour helped the Black Rams get back into the match, at a time when they trailed 24-0.

The Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights remain the league leaders after their thrilling 21-19 win over a gallant Yokohama Canon Eagles at Kumagaya on Saturday.

The Wild Knights fell behind for the first time in a hard-fought contest with just five minutes to play but escaped via an 80th-minute try by the Tonga-born Brave Blossoms prop Asaeli Ai Valu.

Without the competition’s leading point-scorer Yu Tamura, the Eagles were left ruing stand-in goalkicker SP Marais’ failure to convert Faf de Klerk’s 10th-minute try, alongside another missed penalty attempt in the first half.


The Wild Knights’ Japan Test five-eighth Rikiya Matsuda kicked three from three, including the match-winning conversion.

In the boilover of the round, Brisbane-schooled Will Tupou scored the try that finally settled a classic game between the Kobelco Kobe Steelers and Toyota Verblitz.

Verblitz had to defend with 12 players after three yellow cards late in the second half but held on to prevail 38-24.

Things are not improving for Will Genia’s Hanazono Kintetsu Liners, who shipped 60 points during a heavy loss to in-form Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo.


Although Genia was a try-scorer for his outgunned side, the fourth-placed Toshiba crossed the line nine times to make it 17 for the week, afte r Todd Blackadder’s side pummelled Verblitz 63-25 in the previous round.

Tokyo Suntory Sungoliath remain third after romping to a 51-13 win over the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Sagamihara Dynaboars, with former All Black Aaron Cruden scoring 16 points on his return from a two-game suspension.

Michael Cheika’s NEC Green Rockets were held scoreless as the Shizuoka Blue Revs, led by Springboks flanker Kwagga Smith, recorded their first win of the season with a 21-0 victory.

In the lower divisions, Toyota Heavy Industries Shuttles Aichi outclassed Kamaishi Seawaves 64-14 to stay third in Division Two, while two tries from former Melbourne Rebels winger Tom English helped Wycliff Palu’s Kurita Water Gush Akishima upset the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes 37-32.


Join free



Trending on RugbyPass


Be the first to comment...

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

Turlough 2 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

13 Go to comments
FEATURE Paris Olympics: Men's rugby sevens team-by-team guide Paris Olympics: Men's rugby sevens team-by-team guide