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Bok lock's yellow sends Heat to dramatic loss

WEEKEND WRAP: A yellow card shown to Springbok Franco Mostert sent Heat into sleepmode leading to a dramatic 24-61 loss at the hands of Spears in Japan Rugby League One on the weekend.

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The replacement battle-bound Heat were in dreamland, leading the outgoing champions 17-0 after 30
minutes when the World Cup-winning Springbok second rower was yellow carded.

By the time he had returned, the Spears had scored three tries to capture the lead, and they didn’t stop, scoring
one try for just over every five minutes of play in the second half, seven in all, to finalise a scoreline that would
have been unimaginable after the opening half-an-hour.

For the indefatigable Mostert – the only player in the league to have completed more than 200 tackles – to have
been the genesis of such a dramatic turnaround in the game with his sinbinning, seemed the height of unfairness
given his season’s herculean efforts.

After a disappointing defence of their title, the Spears can finish fifth by beating third-placed Tokyo Suntory Sungoliath next week.

Sungoliath were beaten by Brave Lupus Tokyo 36-27 in the Fuchu derby.

While the round’s other results mean the west Tokyo rivals will meet again in the semi-finals, Brave Lupus will take confidence after completing a season double over Sungoliath for the first time since the 2010-11 campaign.

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They did it without trump card, Richie Mo’unga. The All Black, who has been away on bereavement leave, watched from the stands at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium.

Eagles might have already qualified for the semifinals, but they were undone by All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett, whose visionary kick in behind produced the match-winning try for fullback Taichi Takahashi, following a 31-phase build-up that ran beyond the final hooter.

The try allowed Toyota Verblitz to win the game 35-31, keeping them in contention for fifth going into the final round.

That position is currently held by Dave Rennie’s Steelers, and the former Wallabies coach’s men appear in no mood to surrender it after outclassing Blue Revs 63-19 in Osaka.

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Wallaby Quade Cooper missed Saturday’s action, but his Hanazono Kintetsu Liners teammates put up a good fight before going down 33-24 to Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights.

Rams Tokyo, coached by Australian Peter Hewat, will contest next month’s promotion/relegation series despite their 31-24 win over Dynaboars.

Japan Rugby League One Results – Round Fifteen

Division One

Saturday, April 27
Black Rams Tokyo 31, Dynaboars 24; at Sagamihara
Brave Lupus Tokyo 36, Suntory Sungoliath 27; at Tokyo

Division Two

Sunday, April 28
Kyushu Kyuden Voltex 42, Japan Seawaves 32; at Fukuoka
Shuttles Aichi 17, Green Rockets Tokatsu 14; at Kashiwa

Division Three

Saturday, April 27
Kurita Akishima 31, Chugoku Red Regulions 23; at Hiroshima

Sunday, April 28
Red Dolphins 38, SkyActivs Hiroshima 30; at Yamaguchi

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