Suntory whips Panasonic in Top League showdown

first_img RELATED PHOTOS Panasonic Wild Knights’ hopes of making it four straight Top League titles took a big hit Saturday at Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground as they fell to their second defeat of the season.Another poor day in the tight by the Panasonic pack was exploited to the full by Suntory Sungoliath, who ran in six tries to win 45-15 for their fourth straight victory of the season. Suntory’s Ryoto Nakamura scores a try in Saturday’s match against Panasonic in the Top League. The Sungoliath defeated the Wild Knights 45-15 at Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground. | KYODO Panasonic Wild Knights, Top League, Suntory Sungoliath “That’s the first time this season we’ve really played the type of rugby we aspire to,” said Suntory coach Keisuke Sawaki.Suntory is one of just two teams yet to taste defeat this season, the other being Yamaha Jubilo, who top the standings with 19 points, one more than Sungoliath.Jubilo hammered previously unbeaten Toshiba Brave Lupus 40-6, while Toyota Verblitz went down to their first defeat of the season, losing 27-7 to Kobe Kobelco Steelers.Kobe and Verblitz both have 14 points, but Kobe are third thanks to a better points difference.In the day’s other games, NTT Communications Shining Arcs picked up their third win by topping Kintetsu Liners 18-3 as did Munakata Sanix Blues, who edged Coca-Cola Red Sparks 19-16 to claim bragging rights in Kyushu.Kubota Spears edged Honda Heat 18-15, while NEC Green Rockets won for the first time this season thanks to a 23-7 victory over Toyota Industries Shuttles.Panasonic dominated the early exchanges and a penalty from Berrick Barnes got the scoreboard ticking over in the 13th minute.But it was soon canceled out by a kick from Kosei Ono as Suntory started to play itself into the game.Helped by Panasonic’s woes in the tight, Suntory added further tries from Kensuke Hatakeyama and Takaaki Nakazuru, with Ono converting both from the sidelines to make it 17-3 at the break.Nakazuru turned creator five minutes into the second half when the flying wing’s good break set up field position from which Shintaro Ishihara scored, the prop running a sublime angle to break the defensive line.Panasonic needed to score quickly to get back in the game and it did just that with Shota Horie and Richard Buckman both going over from well-worked driving mauls.But their indiscipline and poor defense came back to haunt them allowing Ryoto Nakamura, Hendrik Tui and Atsushi Hiwasa to add to Suntory’s tally, with Ono finishing the day with six conversions from as many attempts.“We were beaten by a far better side on the day,” said Panasonic coach Robbie Deans. “But our performance was disappointing. You just can’t give up that much possession and hope to succeed in a Top League fixture.”Despite the win, Sawaki was keen to keep his team’s feet on the ground and dismissed a question that the league was simply a race between Suntory and Yamaha.“It’s not just Yamaha,” Sawaki said. “We have to be worried about all the teams, take things game-by-game and be patient.” center_img IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES KEYWORDSlast_img

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