Lopsided scores dominate first round of Top League

first_imgThe new Top League was put on hold on Sunday for six weeks to allow Japan’s best (not to mention a number of Samoans, Tongans and Fijians plying their trade in Japan) time off to compete in the Rugby World Cup.And for a great many of the coaches and players it will be back to the drawing board. One of the hopes for the new professional league was that the one-sided contests that too often dominated the Japanese game would be a thing of the past. However, in the 12 games played to date only two could be deemed close (earning the losing side a bonus point for losing by seven points or under.)Glen Marsh can no doubt vouch for the at times, non-existent defense that seems to have been adopted by a great many of the teams, scoring two of the softest tries he is ever likely to score in the NEC Green Rockets’ 54-7 win over the Kubota Spears on Saturday.The win put the Green Rockets top of the table with a maximum 10 points from two games — four points for a win and one bonus point for scoring four or more tries in a game. Joining them at the top were Suntory Sungoliath and Toshiba Fuchu Brave Lupus. Sungoliath followed up its opening day 54-31 victory over Kobe Steel with a 31-12 win over World Fighting Bull, while Brave Lupus accounted for the Secom Rugguts 78-24 before finishing strongly in appalling conditions at Chichibunomiya on Sunday to defeat the Sanyo Wild Knights 38-9, with hooker Hiroki Matsuo again showing what a good all-around player he is.Quite how he never made the Japan squad for the World Cup is still a mystery. The Japan Rugby Football Union will be hoping that the six-week break will allow the players to come back refreshed and with a better understanding of what their coaches want of them on the field so that the fledgling league can truly live up to its name. GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMEScenter_img IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img

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