Kubota Spears Funabashi TOKYO-BAY vs Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Sagamihara Dynaboars
(Author: Azul, February 26, 2023)
18 February 2023. This time I went to the Edogawa Athletics Stadium in Edogawa, Tokyo, to watch the League One Section 8 match, Kubota Spears vs Sagamihara Dynaboars.
The stadium is a 15-minute walk from Nishi-Kasai Station on the Tozai Subway Line.
Volunteers from the home team, the Spears, stand at each point to give directions from the station. Thank you.
The match was a 14:30 kick-off. I misread the train time and arrived at the stadium just before the game started.
Pictured above is the Spears mascot, Suppy. The attendance that day was 3,534.
In my case, many of the games I have watched at Edogawa Athletics Stadium in the past have been rained out, but on this day, the weather was almost clear and the temperature was 16°C, making it a perfect day to watch the game.
On this day, I was watching the game from
I was in the grass seats behind the goal. The main and back stands are more comfortable, but I mostly sit behind the goal because it is difficult to take photos.
First, let’s check the League One standings in Section 8. Spears, who we play today, are in second place and Dynaboars are in seventh.
|2022-23||League One Order||2023.2.18|
|5||Tokyo Brave Lupas||4||4||0||21||83|
|9||Shizuoka Blue Revs||2||4||1||14||10|
|10||Black Rams Tokyo||2||6||0||9||-75|
|11||Green Rockets Tokatsu||1||7||0||5||-165|
Let’s take a look at the latest news on both teams playing today.
First up are home team KUBOTA SPEARS.
This season, they have shown more consistent strength than last season and are definitely favourites to win the championship. Their rival is last year’s champions, Saitama Wildknights. They finished third at the end of last season when hooker Malkolm MARX, a mainstay of the team, left the team due to injury, but this season they have a line-up that can challenge for the championship. The big game for the championship will be against WildNights on 4 March, but until then, neither side wants to lose a single game. And at their home ground, Edogawa Athletics Stadium, they currently boast an unbeaten eight-match winning streak. All eyes will be on how far they can extend this record.
Today’s starting line-up is as follows.
|1||Kota KAISHI||172cm||102kg||28||Japan 1cap|
|2||Malkolm Marx||189cm||117kg||28||South Africa 57cap|
|3||Kengo KITAGAWA||178cm||110kg||30||Japan 3cap|
|6||Peter Labuschagne||189cm||106kg||33||Japan 14cap|
|8||Faulua Makisi||187cm||112kg||25||Japan 5cap|
|10||Bernard Foley||182cm||89kg||33||Australia 75cap|
|14||Koga Nezuka||173cm||82kg||24||Japan 1cap|
|15||Gerhard Van Den Heever||192cm||102kg||33||Japan 5cap|
＊＊ Player to watch ＊＊
Haruto KIDA. 176 cm, 90 kg, 23 years old. Position=WTB. He is a graduate of Ritsumeikan University. He has represented Japan at various age levels, including Japan High School, Japan U20 and Junior Japan, and boasts a brilliant record. As befits his achievements, he is a regular member of the highly-regarded SPEARS squad this season, and is currently second or third in the League One try-scoring rankings. In games, he has the nous to score tries and the decisiveness to score them at the end. Depending on how well he performs this season, it would not be a surprise if he is called up for the national team.
And now, let me introduce today’s visiting team, Sagamihara Dynaboars.
Despite having just been promoted from Division 2 this season, the team has been the eye of the storm in the early stages of the season, racking up wins against last year’s top teams from the start of the season. However, towards the middle of the season, they have suffered back-to-back defeats against higher-ranked teams due to injuries to key players leaving the team, but I hope they can show a return to form here in order to stay in Division 1.
Today’s starting line-up is as follows.
|6||Sam Chongkit||198cm||108kg||27||Japan 7th|
|10||Matt TOOMUA||182cm||90kg||32||Australia 59cap|
＊＊ Player to watch ＊＊
Matt TOOMUA. 182 cm, 90 kg, 32 years old. Australian national team 59 cap. position = SO, CTB. the biggest highlight of the Dynaboars’ reinforcements this season. played in the RWC 2015 and 2019.
Possesses the qualities required of an SO at a high level – passing, kicking and running. Last season, the Dynaboars suffered from the departure of their main SO due to injury, so we hope that TOOMUA will be able to play as a mainstay without injury.
Let’s kick off the first half.
SPEARS scored the first PG in the third minute of the first half. The kicker was Australia’s SO FOLEY, followed by another Australian international, SO TOOMUA of the Dynaboars, who equalised with a PG in the sixth minute of the first half.
15 minutes into the first half:
The Spears attacked into enemy territory and an infringement by their opponents led to a lineout in front of the in-goal in the deep right corner, where the Spears mauled their way forward and then went left. The Spears backs then sent a man advantage to the left corner, where FB Van den Heever passed to left WTB KIDA, who took it easy and scored a try in the left corner of the in-goal. Eighth try in total. The conversion goal after the try was also successful and Spears made the score 13-3.
33 minutes into the first half:
Dynaboars attacked deep into enemy territory on the left flank, with FB SHILLCOCK showing some impressive individual skills. From here, the Dynaboars, after several side attacks by their FWs, deployed on the right and SO TOOMUA fired a kick-pass down the left flank. Dynaboars flanker CHONGKIT won a race against the opposition defence and made a brilliant catch just in front of the in-goal, where Dynaboars’ CHONGKIT fell down but passed to CTB NARA who came running in and NARA scored a try in the right corner of the in-goal. The conversion goal after the try failed and the score was 13-8.
The first half ended with this score. It had been a close game so far, with plenty of highlights for both sides. Now, can the Dynaboars halt Spears’ winning streak at the Edogawa Athletics Stadium?
At half-time, Spears threw merchandise signed by the players into the stands as part of their fan service.
The second half started.
1 minute of the second half:
Spears showed a line attack and WTB NEZUKA made a sharp breakthrough, which was stopped by Dynaboars WTB TAUMOHAPPAI in a strong tackle. However, the tackle was ruled a dangerous no-bind tackle and TAUMOHAPPAI was temporarily sent off for 10 minutes.
However, this sending off backfired for the Dynaboars. They were then to concede four tries in just ten minutes.
Spears’ try in the second minute of the first half from a maul attack was a try that Spears powered over, but
4 minutes into the second half:
The big 193 cm CTB PRETORIAS, who replaced Spears’ CTB TATEKAWA who was absent for the match, made a powerful line break and a big gain and finally FB Van den Heever scored a try right in the middle.
The fan in the photo above is holding up the initial G for Gerhard Van Den Heever. Probably.
7 minutes into the second half:
The Dynaboars were trying to recover their position with a kick when they were attacked in their own half, once they got the ball back in a tight battle. However, Spears WTB NEZUKA caught the ball and counter-attacked, getting behind the opposition defence and the Spears FW followed up one by one and connected with the opposition in-goal, with Spears SH TANIGUCHI scoring try in the right midfield finally.
10 minutes into the second half:
Spears enter enemy territory and develop on the right flank, where once again Spears CTB PRETORIAS breaks through the opposition defence for a big gain, and the Dynaboars gather in numbers in this tight formation to stop the try. Spears’ SO Foley saw this and kick-passed to the opposite side. Spears’ left WTB KIDA, who was waiting in this position, then dodged one of the opposition defenders and scored a try in the middle left of the in-goal field.
For the Dynaboars, the 10 minutes of the second half when a man was sent off turned out to be a nightmare.
At the start of the second half it was 13-8, but
Just ten minutes later, the score was 41-8, with Spears scoring four tries and four goals in the process, deciding the game for good.
15 minutes into the second half:
The Dynaboars finally got their man back and were looking to show some determination by getting back on the scoresheet. After a long period of inactivity, they had a scrum deep in enemy territory and were pushed over by Spears, which led to a Spears infringement, where SH IWAMURA quickly cut deep into enemy territory to the right and connected with CTB NARA, who scored his second try of the day in the middle right of the enemy’s in-goal. The conversion goal after the try was also a success.
The conversion goal after the try was also successful, making the score 41-15.
23 minutes of the second half:
Once Spears had gained momentum, they were hard to stop. MAKISI received the pass and scored a try in the middle on the left. The conversion goal after the try failed and the score was 46-15.
25 minutes of the second half:
From the kick-off after the try, the Dynaboars had a scrum in opposition territory. Dynaboars lock URUIVITI successfully charged down an attempted kick by Spears replacement SH FUJIWARA and URUIVITI picked up the spilled ball to score a try just under the goal posts. The conversion goal after the try was also successful, making the score 46-22.
29 minutes of the second half:
Spears pushed forward into the opposition’s in-goal and came close to scoring a try through sheer force, mainly from their FWs, with the Dynaboars showing determination and defending three times before Spears midfield prop HELU twisted his body into the middle right of the in-goal to score the try finally. The conversion goal after the try was also successful, making the score 53-22.
37 minutes into the second half:
Spears had a lineout on their own ball on the right near the enemy 22m line. Yamamoto scored his first try in League One. However, Yamamoto’s running form was both well-rounded and fast. We can’t wait to see what he can do in the future. The conversion goal after the try was also successful and the score was 60-22.
Although the Dynaboars suffered a heavy defeat in terms of score in this match, they did not give up the fight and their determination to score points right to the end gave us hope for the next round of matches.
Spears have now won nine consecutive games at their home ground, Edogawa Athletics Stadium, since joining League One. The home fans will be eager to see how far they can take this record.
＊＊ Jersey collection 73 ＊＊
KUBOTA SPEARS staff jersey, manufactured by Cotton Traders. Got it on Yahoo Auctions for ¥ 3,980. I am proud of the embroidery of the number 28 on the left arm. I guessed it was for support staff as the players are up to number 23.
Stop the war.
Peace to Ukraine