Suntory Sungoliath and Sanyo Wild Knights made sure the All-Japan Championship would be a repeat of the Microsoft Cup final after winning their respective Semi-Final matches on Saturday.
Top League champions Suntory played to a victory over Toshiba Brave Lupus 25-14 in Tokyo. In the second Semi-Final Sanyo narrowly defeated Toyota Verblitz 25-24 at Hanazono Stadium in Osaka.
Suntory’s hope of doing the double were kept alive by tries from Daigo Yamashita, Akira Ozaki and Ryan Nicholas. Nicholas added two conversions and two penalty goals.
Toshiba’s try scorers were Masato Toyoda and Yasunori Watanabe, both of which were converted by Toshiaki Hirose.
In what seems to be the trend for the weekend Suntory were leading 22 – 0 at half time.
Meanwhile in Osaka, the Sanyo Wild Knights once again edged Toyota Verblitz by a single point, having beaten Verblitz 26-25 earlier in the season in the Top League.
Tony Brown and Epi Taione, who will both be playing Super 14 once their commitments in Japan are done, scored first-half tries for Sanyo, with Ryu Koliniasi Holani adding the all-important fourth try in the 67th minute.
Brown and Taione will play Super 14 rugby for the Stormers and Sharks, respectively, once the Japanese season is completed, but the pair both scored tries on Saturday as Sanyo made sure their season lasts one more week.
A try four minutes from time by No. 8 Takashi Kikutani, converted by Tatsuya Kusumi, saw Toyota set a grandstand finish but the Wild Kinights were able to hold them out and move through to the final.
The All-Japan Championship final will be played on Sunday 16 March at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground in Tokyo.
This means the Stormers and Sharks would have to wait until Round six for Brown and Taione to be available.Tweet