Top League kicks off in front of big crowds

Jan 16, 2020
20200112 Michael Toshiba Suntory

Toshiba Brave Lupus claimed bragging rights for the Tokyo suburb of Fuchu by beating local rivals Suntory Sungoliath 26-19 in front of 21,564 at Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground.

“The players worked hard in the preseason and it showed today,” said new Toshiba coach Todd Blackadder.

The former All Blacks player had special praise for Japan captain Michael Leitch, who he said had returned to the club from the World Cup both physically and mentally tired.

“I thought he was outstanding,” said Blackadder, who moved to Japan last year from English Premiership side Bath. “He didn’t play one preseason game, but with experienced players you get mental toughness and it just shows the caliber of the man that he can go out and play 80 minutes.”

Japan Times