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Wallaby legend Will Genia gets first red card at 36

By RugbyPass
Will Genia of Australia looks dejected following defeat in the Rugby World Cup 2019 Quarter Final match between England and Australia at Oita Stadium on October 19, 2019 in Oita, Japan. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images,)

Former All Black backrower Shannon Frizell joined Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights midfielder Dylan Riley as the leading individual try-scorer in Japan Rugby League One, after scoring his sixth of the season as Toshiba Brave


Lupus Tokyo stayed unbeaten after today’s 28-12 win over Toyota Verblitz.

The 29-year-old’s try, which came with 11 minutes remaining, saw Brave Lupus move beyond a seven-point margin, which they added to four minutes later when centre Yotu Mori scored their third try of the afternoon to confirm Toshiba’s sixth win of the campaign.

Earlier the anticipated match up between the All Black flyhalves Richie Mo’unga, and his predecessor in the position Beauden Barrett, lasted for just 16 minutes before the Verblitz man was withdrawn from the game. Barrett had converted the first of the two tries that were scored by winger Taichi Takahashi with the second, which came 17 minutes into the second half, closing Verblitz to within four at 16-12, before Toshiba’s powerful finish killed the game off.

Match Summary

Penalty Goals
Drop Goals
Line Breaks
Turnovers Lost
Turnovers Won

Verblitz were not helped by the concession of two yellow cards, with both winger Viliame Tuidraki and second row Isaiah Mapusua spending time off the field.

The win keeps Brave Lupus hot on the heels of the Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights, with two points separating first and second on the championship table.

With Toshiba not involved in The Cross Border Rugby, the next outing for former All Black captain Todd Blackadder’s men will be on February 24 when they face fourth-placed Yokohama Canon Eagles.

You had to feel for Ricoh Black Rams Tokyo who were denied their second victory of the season after Kubota Spears Funabashi Tokyo Bay featured in a dramatic finish for the second round in a row, as they snatched an 18-17 at Komazawa Olympic Park General Sports Ground.

Japan Rugby League One
BlackRams Tokyo
17 - 18
Kubota Spears
All Stats and Data

After surrendering a 10-5 halftime advantage to trail 15-10 as the clock reached 80 minutes, Black Rams looked like they had stolen the game when their concerted pressure led to the award of a penalty try which put them in front by two points.

Having shown in the previous round that they will fight until the end when they scored a 79th minute try to pip Kobelco Kobe Steelers, the Spears did so again, winning a penalty two minutes later, which fullback Gerhard van den Heever goaled to break Black Rams’ hearts.

Handling the goal-kicking duties for a second match due to the absence of regular Kubota sharpshooter Bernard Foley, the South African-born fullback slotted three of his four attempts to get the defending champions home, despite their being out-scored three tries to two.


The win was a further tonic for the Spears in the final outing ahead of their clash with the Gallagher (Waikato) Chiefs in The Cross Border Rugby on February 10.

Yokohama Canon Eagles endured the opposite emotions ahead of their match against the (Auckland) Blues in The Cross Border Rugby, falling to a 31-27 defeat against a Bryn Gatland-inspired Kobelco Kobe Steelers who overhauled a 10-0 halftime deficit to snap a run of three consecutive defeats.

22m Entries

Avg. Points Scored
Avg. Points Scored

Despite missing the injured Springbok duo of scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and centre Jesse Kriel, who both remain confident of returning prior to the end of the season, Yokohama appeared unflustered as a converted try by Amanaki Lelei Mafi as well as a dropped goal by flyhalf Yu Tamura gave them a deserved lead.

Gatland scored two tries in eight minutes after the break, both of which he converted, to wrestle the advantage Kobe’s way, only for the Eagles to respond with further tries by second row Max Douglas and utility forward Sione Halasili, forging Yokohama ahead 27-14 with just 15 minutes remaining.

Unfortunately for last year’s semi-finalists, the Steelers weren’t done, scoring two tries in the final 10 minutes, along with Gatland’s first penalty goal of the game to inflict a second defeat of the season on Yokohama.

Fresh off the injuries to de Klerk and Kriel, Springbok boss Rassie Erasmus was given further concern by news that Shizuoka Blue Revs skipper Kwagga Smith has been ruled out for the rest of the competition after sustaining an adductor tendon injury.

Not that the loss of their inspirational skipper held the Blue Revs back in today’s match against the winless Hanazono Kintetsu Liners, who crumbled in the second half to lose 50-12 after a competitive first half where the visitors had scored two tries and closed to 19-12 at halftime.

Points Flow Chart

Shizuoka BlueRevs win +38
Time in lead
Mins in lead
% Of Game In Lead
Possession Last 10 min
Points Last 10 min

A second and third try of his Japan Rugby League One career by the dual New Zealand/Tonga international Charles Piutau was a feature of the Shizuoka performance, while two professional fouls in eight minutes marked Kintetsu’s afternoon, which saw Kintetsu scrumhalf Will Genia suffer a red card.

While the sanction didn’t cost his side the game, as the visitors trailed 38-12 at the time, it was the first red card
to be awarded against the 36-year-old Wallaby in a distinguished representative career that has spanned 18 years.

The emphatic victory lifts Shizuoka to fifth on the table, two points behind fourth-placed Yokohama, which represents a great recovery after the Blue Revs lost their first two matches of the campaign.

Hanazono remain one point above Mie Honda Heat at the bottom of the table but will have to wait until February 24 to try again to get off the mark when they meet Kubota.

Division One now pauses for three weeks for The Cross Border Rugby, resuming on February 17 when Verblitz host Heat, while the Wild Knights host Tokyo Suntory Sungoliath in a clash which sees first play third.

The only match in Division Three today saw the Chugoku Electric Power Red Regulions record their first win of the season when they beat cross-town rivals Mazda SkyActivs Hiroshima 22-21.

Toyota Industries Corporation Shuttles Aichi meet Kyushu Electric Power Kyuden Voltex in the only Division Two fixture of the weekend tomorrow.

A review of this match will be included in the Official Preview of The Cross Border Rugby which will be distributed before those matches kick off.

Bryn, you beauty

Life in Japan hasn’t been the easiest for Kobelco Kobe Steelers flyhalf Bryn Gatland. The former Chief from Super Rugby has been playing well but has missed a few clutch kicks that have been the difference between winning and losing for his side. Not that anyone has blamed him, but even so, Gatland had additional cause to celebrate tonight as his 21 points shot down the Eagles. As well as being a major factor in Kobe snapping a three-match losing run, the haul lifted him to the top of the individual point-scoring rankings, tied with Saitama’s Brave Blossoms test flyhalf Rikiya Matsuda. Both players have 74 points to their names to date, seven ahead of the third placed Richie Mounga of Brave Lupus.

Sky falls in on SkyActivs

They hadn’t won all season, defaulted their previous match due to Covid, and trailed in the Hiroshima derby by 21-0 after 29 minutes. Game over for the Chugoku Electric Power Red Regulions, right?

Actually no as it turned out, with the section’s bottom-placed side staging a remarkable comeback. Chugoku held their opponents point-less for the remaining 50 minutes, while scoring 22 themselves, to claim city bragging rights. Chasing a third win of the season, which would have matched their entire reward from last term, SkyActivs bounced out of the starting gates, scoring the opening three tries of the game, all of which were converted, to establish command. Facing what seemed an insurmountable deficit, the Red Regulions raised a flicker of hope when winger Kentarou Fujii scored four minutes before the break, and the momentum stayed with them for the remainder of the game. Two converted second half tries and a penalty goal put the Red Regulions in front for the first time, 11 minutes before the end, and the SkyActivs were unable to respond as Chugoku held on to record one of the most memorable wins in the club’s history.



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