Marx shows his superiority in Japan
WRAP: It might have taken three weeks, but Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx has started making up for lost time, bagging a hat-trick during the Kubota Spears 77-14 rout of the Liners in Osaka.
After scoring seven tries in five appearances last term, Marx had been kept try-less in his opening two outings of the new campaign, but took a liking to the luckless Kintetsu, having hit the three-try mark before halftime.
Marx contributed to the 11 tries Kubota scored in jumping to second on the point’s table, while remaining the only unbeaten side after three weeks, other than the league-leading Wild Knights.
The Marx hat-trick was the second of the weekend, and fourth of the season, with the third scored yesterday by the Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo wing Jone Naikabula who crossed the Shizuoka Blue Revs’ goal-line three times during his team’s 29-16 victory.
The hattricks followed on from those scored in round two by the Kobelco Kobe Steelers pair of Ngane Laumape and Daiki Nakijima, which also came at the expense of Kintetsu.
Nakijima was a try-scorer again today as Kobe made it back-to-back wins by outlasting the NEC Green Rockets Tokatsu 43-33 at Chiba.
The teams scored eleven tries between them in another high scoring contest featuring Kobe, who had shared 14 tries with Kintetsu in the previous round.
Tries were at more of a premium in Aichi as the Ricoh Black Rams Tokyo recorded the upset of the round, coming from behind to beat Toyota Verblitz.
Steve Hansen’s men led for most of the match but were held scoreless over the final 25 minutes as the Black Rams overturned a 25-14 deficit to claim their first win of the campaign while inflicting Toyota’s second defeat from three matches.
Saturday’s action was notable for the red carding of internationals Damien de Allende and Aaron Cruden during the wins by Saitama and Tokyo Suntory Sungoliath respectively.
The Wild Knights already had the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Sagamihira Dynaboars covered, leading 33-0 when the Springbok midfielder was dismissed for an illegal clean out on Dynaboars flank Yuta Satamoto in the 63rd minute, eventually finishing the top of the table clash at Kumagaya with a comprehensive 40-5 victory.
The situation was more complicated for Sungoliath, with the former All Black flyhalf receiving his marching orders for dangerous contact to the head of the Yokohama Canon Eagles’ Springbok halfback, Faf de Klerk.
Despite playing 62 minutes reduced to 14 men, Suntory eventually prevailed 32-23, with Yokohama not helping themselves by twice playing a man short as well, after yellow cards to de Klerk (36th minute) and the Brave Blossoms backrow Amanaki Lelei Mafi (77thminute).
Both de Allende and Cruden had been try-scorers prior to their exits.
Saturday, January 7
Wild Knights 40 DYNABOARS 5
SUNGOLIATH 32 EAGLES 23
Sunday, January 8
KUBOTA SPEARS 77 HLINERS 12
STEELERS 43 GREEN ROCKETS 33
BLACK RAMS 29 VERBLITZ 25