Yellow and red cards fly for Springboks and All Blacks in Japan
Two reds and three yellow cards were issued to international stars across the latest round of Japan Rugby League one in the three Saturday games, with Springbok stars copping three of them.
International stars are highly sought after by Japanese clubs for their talents, but their aggressive style of play can lead to trouble in the Japan League. A slate of offences were called up by officials across the Saturday games.
Former All Black Aaron Cruden was red-carded early in Tokyo Sungoliath’s big clash with Canon Eagles, for a dangerous clean-out on Springboks scrumhalf Faf De Klerk which included shoulder contact to the head.
De Klerk was attempting to pick up the ball when Cruden came through with a low shoulder.
The Springboks No 9 was then sin-binned himself for trying to charge down a penalty clearing kick from an offside position, an act of cynical play deemed worthy of a yellow card.
Tongan-born Japanese international Amanaki Mafi was also later yellow carded for the Eagles late in the second half, bringing the total to three cards in one match.
Centre Jesse Kriel starred for Yokohama in the loss, breaking away to score the opening try with a precise line. He set-up another try in the second half with another line break but had one taken off the board for blocking on a scrum play.
League leaders Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights completed a comprehensive 40-5 win over Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Sagamihara Dynaboars, but were left without inside centre Damian de Allende for the final 15 minutes.
The Springboks No 12 was having an influential game before being sent off, he scored the opening try of the game, busting through a few late tackles to score from close range in the 11th minute.
He then laid on a miraculous try assist, jumping high to collect a cross-field kick before flicking a back-hand offload inside to his flanker all while tip-toeing down the sideline.
With the game all but sealed at 33-0, De Allende was given a red card for a physical clean out which collected Dynabours openside Yuu Sakamoto on the back of the neck while competing for the ball.
Loose forward Kwagga Smith became the third Bok to get carded of the day for Shizuoka Blue Revs in their loss to Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo.
The Blue Revs No 8 received a yellow card for his tip tackle on former All Black Tom Taylor.
Smith went low on Taylor after the No 10 played an inside ball, lifting him between the legs past the horizontal and into dangerous territory.
Taylor landed safely but the match officials deemed the lifting tackle to be illegal.
It was a double blow for the Blue Revs who had conceded a try in the phase after Smith’s tackle.
The Wild Knights, Sungoliath and Brave Lupus all picked up wins and remain the top three clubs in division one with Robbie Deans’ side the only unbeaten team left this season.
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