The semi-final of the playoff tournament, a top league that doubles as the Japanese championship of rugby, was held at Hanazono Rugby Stadium in Osaka Prefecture, and Suntory defeated Kubota 26-9 to advance to the final.
The semi-final of the playoff tournament of the rugby top league, which will be the last of this season, has been held without spectators since the 15th at the Hanazono Rugby Stadium in Higashi-Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, which also serves as the Japan Championship. At the Red Conference, 1st place Suntory and 3rd place Kubota played against each other.
Kubota's strong forwards blocked the attack from Suntory's strong fast pass from the beginning, and in the 8th minute they scored a penalty goal and opened the scoring 3-0.
On the other hand, Suntory succeeded in reversing with a drop goal of standoff Beauden Barrett, and in the 33rd minute, Japan national team candidate Shota Emi of Wing widened the lead to 14-6 and finished the first half. ..
In the second half, Kubota, whose fouls increased, scored steadily, with Barrett scoring four penalty goals with an accurate kick.
Suntory will beat Kubota 26-9 and will face Panasonic in the final at the Chichibu Memorial Rugby Stadium in Tokyo on the 23rd of this month.
Suntory Nakamura "Keep your opponent in a no-try and be confident"
Suntory captain Ryoto Nakamura said, "It was a good match that I was able to prepare for a wonderful team called Kubota. I was confident that I could fix the defense while using the kick and keep the opponent in a no-try. I looked back.
Regarding his own play that contributed to the defense, "My role is to find holes and fill the pinch while controlling the players on the outside. I can make a good defense to connect with other members while making such a judgment. I said.
He expressed his enthusiasm for the final, saying, "I want to prepare for the remaining one game for a week regardless of whether I win or lose."
Suntory Barrett "I'm happy to advance to the final"
Suntory's standoff, Beauden Barrett, who scored with accurate kicks, said, "I thought it was a tough match, so I didn't think I could score a chance. I'm proud of the people I fought with. I'm happy to move on to the final next week. "
Suntory Hake "Results from Good Defense"
Suntory coach Milton Hake said, "I did a good defense and put a lot of pressure on it and got good results in the end. Kubota's lineout is a strength, so it was a plan not to give rhythm there." I did.
After that, he said for the final match against Panasonic, "The opponent has a strong defense, but it is important for us to connect the chance to the goal by attacking."
Kubota Tachikawa "We couldn't play rugby"
The defeated Kubota captain, Harumichi Tatekawa, said, "The opponent made a game plan and we couldn't play our own rugby. We couldn't catch the opponent's kick cleanly, and the response was delayed." I gave the cause of defeat.
After that, he said, "I want to praise my teammates who fought to the end. I want to connect what I learned this season to next season."
The key to victory The existence of an absolute kicker
Suntory defeated Kubota 26-9.
Suntory has taken an average of nearly nine tries per game in the regular season, but only one try was decided by Shota Emi.
Why did you still win?
One of the keys was the kick.
In the early stages, Suntory developed a tactic to connect the passes at a fast tempo, which he is good at, but it was difficult to bring it to the try because of Kubota's strong forward team.
However, this development was "expected" for Suntory.
That's why I used a lot of kicks.
There were many scenes of kicking into the opponent's team in order to lower the opponent's powerful forward team behind.
The attack was also kick-based.
Instead of trying to get a try that could get "5 points" even if Kubota had a foul, I chose a penalty goal of "3 points" and decided it surely to gradually widen the point difference.
Behind the practice of this tactic was the presence of players who could be absolutely trusted.
Beauden Barrett, who has been active in the New Zealand national team and has been selected twice as the world's best player.
With an accurate kick, he scored 128 points, which is more than 30% of the team's total score in the regular season, and became the top scorer.
In this match as well, he scored one drop goal and six penalty goals, and Barrett scored all 21 points except the try.
After the match, Barrett recalled, "I knew it would be a tough match, but I was only conscious of scoring well at the chance."
For a few minutes until the end of the game, Suntory did not give a single try even though Kubota's heavy attack repeatedly attacked with large players.
I got a ticket to the final for the first time as a matchmaker who skillfully weaves a kick and seals the opponent's characteristics.
The opponent of the final is Panasonic, which is well-balanced in offense and defense.
It seems that Suntory will once again devise a winning tactic to achieve the sixth victory in the last top league, which is the largest number in history.