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Rohan starts new chapter with a try

JAPAN LEAGUE ONE WRAP: Twelve points from flyhalf Richie Mo’unga, including the second try of his Japan Rugby League One career, led Brave Lupus Tokyo to a 27-7 win over the Eagles.

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Brave Lupus were always in control, having rocked the Eagles in the fourth minute when loose forward Takahashi Sasaki scored.

The visitors never recovered and were only spared the indignity of becoming the third side to be held scoreless this season when Springbok midfielder Rohan Janse van Rensburg marked his introduction to Japan Rugby League One with a try in second-half injury time.

Janse van Rensburg joined the Eagle from the Sharks (United Rugby Championship) earlier this month.

New Zealand-born midfielder Nicholas McCurran also scored in the first half as Brave Lupus established a 15-0 advantage at the midpoint, although it took Todd Blackadder’s men 19 minutes of the second half to add to that total when their star All Black recruit scored.

A try-scoring bonus point was secured seven minutes from time to complete a rewarding afternoon for Brave Lupus, after wing Atsuki Kuwayama posted their fourth try, which closed Brave Lupus to within a point of the Wild Knights at the top of the Division One standings.

The two are scheduled to meet on March 9.

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A strong second half allowed the Steelers to bag back-to-back victories as Round Seven of Japan Rugby League One was completed in Tokyo on Sunday.

After three straight defeats, the Steelers returned to the winner’s circle with a 27-17 win over the Black Rams.

Tries by the internationals Ngane Laumape (Steelers) and Nathan Hughes (Black Rams) had seen the game tied 10-10 at the break, before Dave Rennie’s men asserted their dominance with a penalty try three minutes after the resumption.

Showing a level of tenacity that belied their ninth position after just one win, the Black Rams fought back to 20-17 with 15 minutes to play, before wing Rakuhei Yamashita’s second try of the season two minutes later pushed the Steelers clear by 10 points, sealing the game.

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While the lack of a try-scoring bonus point denied the former Wallaby coach’s men a spot in the top four, the win moved the Steelers two positions higher on the points table, ending the weekend sixth, but just one point outside of the semifinal places.

The defeat saw the Eagles drop two spots, with last year’s semifinalists falling to seventh, two points outside of the top four in a congested mid-table.

The Blue Revs missed the opportunity to take advantage of Yokohama’s loss, instead dropping two places themselves after a high-scoring 45-53 loss to the Sagamihara Dynaboars.

Blue Revs could have jumped into the top four had they won, but instead fell away in the second half after the scores had been locked together 26-26 at half-time.

Both sides scored seven tries, with the accuracy off the tee of the former Northampton flyhalf James Grayson proving the point of difference for the Dynaboars.

The 25-year-old scored two tries, as well as kicking eight goals from nine attempts to finish just his fifth appearance in Japan Rugby League One with an impressive haul of 28 points, taking him to 74 for the season, which ties Sungoliath’s Mikiya Takamoto for fourth on the individual point’s standings.

Both Grayson’s tries came in the first half, with the Wallaby midfielder Curtis Rona also crossing, while Auckland educated wing Ben Paltridge (twice) and the All Black loose forward Jackson Hemopo were second-half try-scorers as Sagamihara Dynaboars motored away with the game.

Wing Malo Tuitama scored three tries for the Blue Revs and hooker Takeshi Hino recorded his second try-scoring double of the campaign, but their tries were in vain as the Blue Revs came up short by eight to be denied even a bonus point for their afternoon’s work.

After scoring 20 tries across their two meetings last term, the Spears cracked the Kintetsu Liners defence nine times on Saturday, with the comfortable 56-19 win to lift the defending champions to fourth on the standings.

Any hope the home side had in the game was gone by half-time, having conceded two tries in the first 10 minutes, and six in total in the first half, the end of which saw them trailing 0-39.

Having been outclassed in the opening period, the Liners found the goal-line three times after the break to ‘win’ the second half 19-17, but the rally came too late to salvage anything from the game, leaving the Osaka-based outfit winless and just a bonus point above bottom side Mie Honda Heat in the Division One standings.

Japan Rugby League One Results Round Seven – Part Two

Division One

Saturday, February 24:

Sagamihara Dynaboars 53-45 Blue Revs
Brave Lupus Tokyo 27-7 Yokohama Eagles
Spears 56-19 Liners

Sunday, February 25:
Steelers 27-17 Black Rams Tokyo

Division Two

Saturday, February 24:
Green Rockets 12-8 Voltex

Division Three

Saturday, February 24:

Blue Sharks 41-19 Akishima

Sunday, February 25:

Hiroshima 25-20 Red Regulions

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