RUGBY JERSEY – Japan Rugby League One Division 2, Section 6 – Hino Red Dolphins vs Mie Honda Heat

(Author: Azul, March 6th, 2022)

A message from the author will be posted before this article.



Peace to Ukraine

When I see the tragic situation of the war happening in Ukraine on TV every day, I can’t help but to do something about it. The war in Ukraine is a “crisis of the moment” for people all over the world.


March 6, 2022 Division 2 of Japan Rugby League One has reached the 6th round. First, the current standings of Division 2 are as follows.

Division 2
1Sagamihara Dynaboars50023
2Hanazono Kintetsu Liners41020
3Mie Honda HEAT32014
4Hino Red Dolphins23010
5Kamaishi Seawaves RFC1505
6Mazda Skyactivs Hiroshima0400

The match on this day will decide the right to challenge for the replacement match with Division One. This is a head-to-head matchup between the Honda Heat, currently in 3rd place, and the Red Dolphins, currently in 4th place. The Red Dolphins, in particular, will almost lose their qualification to challenge if they lose today’s match. Can the Red Dolphins hold on?

The venue for today’s game is Musashino Athletic Field in Musashino City, Tokyo. This is the first time for me to come here. To get to the venue, take the Chuo Line from JR Hachioji Station and get off at JR Mitaka Station (about 30 minutes). The stadium is about 2 km away from the station. If you take the bus from Mitaka Station, get off at Musashino City Hall and walk for 2 minutes to get there.

On the day of the event, Musashino Citizens Day, Musashino citizens could enter the stadium for only 1,000 yen for unreserved seats in the back stand. Normally, the price is 2,000 yen, so this means that admission was half price.

On this day, the home team was the Hino Red Dolphins, and a banner of the Red Dolphins players was flying at the entrance.

Let me introduce both teams. First, here are the starting members of the home team, the Hino Red Dolphins.

Red Dolphins
1Motoki Yamazaki174cm115kg33 
2Shunya Hamano182cm108kg22 
3Takuma Asahara179cm115kg34Japan 12cap
4Takehiro Kimura187cm95kg29 
5Zephania Tuinona198cm108kg20 
6Ash Parker187cm106kg33 
7Kyosuke Horie183m106kg33Japan 3cap
8Ryosuke Chifu182cm112kg33 
9Norifumi Hashimoto164cm74kg24 
10Riku Kitahara166cm76kg22 
11Chance Peni190cm96kg28 
12Taiki Kawai170cm84kg22 
13Mosese Tonga173cm102kg29 
14Josefa Lilidam190cm97kg32Japan 7th
15Blendan Jamenz182cm85kg21 

 I believe that the Red Dolphins are a team with a lot of potential, and if they get a chance, they can rise to the top of the league. I am sure they will give it their all, especially since they can’t afford to lose today’s game. So, what kind of game will they show us today?

Next, let me introduce today’s opponent, Mie Honda Heat. This team is also a strong team that belonged to the Top League last season, and has a good track record and ability. The starting lineup for today’s match is as follows.

1Tatsuhiko Tsurukawa182cm114kg26 
2Seung Hyok Lee179cm110kg23 
3Matthys Basson190cm116kg26 
4Franco Mostert200cm112kg31South Africa 49cap
5Paddy Battler191cm107kg31 
6Ryota Kobayashi182cm98kg30 
7Ryo Furuta183cm99kg26 
8Viliami Afu Kaipouli189cm115kg24 
9Kenta Yamaji171cm73kg32 
10Gwantee Oh180cm90kg25 
11Masaki Fujisaki175cm86kg27 
12Kaito Morikawa176cm87kg33 
13Klynton Knox182cm98kg29 
14Nobutaka Ubukata169cm82kg33 
15Matto Duffie192cm95kg31New Zealand  2cap

** Players to watch out for **

Franco Mostert, the number 4 lock. He is 200 cm tall and weighs 112 kg. He is a world-famous player who boasts a South Africa national team career cap of 48.

Honda HEAT has a strong defensive team, and in attack, they have breakthrough players in key positions. When the game turns bad weather and becomes a contest of strength, they will show their strength.

Let’s start today’s match. The weather was clear and sunny, a perfect day to watch a rugby match. The number of spectators on that day was about 2,000. It was a little bit small.

13 minutes into the first half: It was Honda HEAT who scored the first goal, with HEAT’s individual forward momentum outstripping the Red Dolphins defense, and with each successive attack, they made a little more headway. Finally, left WTB Fujisaki scored a try in the left corner. SO Oh scored the conversion goal after the try and the score was 0-7, HEAT taking the lead.

First 18 minutes: The Red Dolphins attempted a series of attacks from near halfway. SH Hashimoto broke through on the right flank and passed to WTB Peni. He made a big gain and went close to the goal, but was caught by HEAT’s defenders. From there, the Red Dolphins moved to the right and finally WTB Lilidam dragged two HEAT players behind him and scored a try in the right corner. The conversion goal after the try was missed. The score was 5-7 and the Red Dolphins were within two points.

27 minutes in the first half: HEAT chose to go for the PG after an infringement by their opponents near the 10m line, which was converted by SO Oh scored. The score was 5-10, HEAT leading by 5 points.

The score remained unchanged for the remainder of the first half, and halftime arrived.

At halftime, the Red Dolphins mascot appeared again and did a lap around the field. Names are currently being sought.

HONDA Heat’s individual contact with the Strong in strength, the Red Dolphins were unable to advance, even when deployed in a series of attacks. Conversely, HEAT was able to gradually advance when they attacked in succession. The Red Dolphins would have to find a new attacking outlet in the second half.

And so the second half began.

14 minutes into the second half: HEAT had the upper hand in ball possession, and the Red Dolphins were unable to get into enemy territory. However, a HEAT infringement allowed the Dolphins to advance to the goal line, where they broke through with a maul from a lineout. After a few more maul attacks, prop Westhuizen scored a try in the middle of the field on the left. A conversion goal after the goal was also successful, making the score 12-10 in favor of the Red Dolphins.

18 minutes into the second half: HEAT was awarded a PG by the opposing team after a foul on their opponents, and scored a try on the way. SO Lance scored to make the score 12-13. HEAT was back on top.

20 minutes into the second half: HEAT’s attackers gradually moved forward, using the strength of their contact. As they closed in on goal, the BK players moved in unison from the left side to the right to break through the Red Dolphins’ defensive net. Finally, HEAT’s SO Lance came around to the center of the goal post and scored a try. Conversion goal after the try was also successful, making the score 12-20 and giving HEAT an 8-point lead.

33 minutes into the second half: The Red Dolphins scrummed deep into the enemy territory, and then took the ball to the right, where the No.8 connected with the SH and finally with the FB, who came on the way. FB Tougou scored a try right in the middle. The conversion goal after the try was also successful, making the score 19-20 and bringing the Red Dolphins within one point.

The Red Dolphins attacked from their own territory and went deep into enemy territory in the remaining time, but when the ball was dropped in front of them, their opponents picked it up and kicked it out to end the game.

The final score was 19-20 in favor of HEAT.


12 Replies to “RUGBY JERSEY – Japan Rugby League One Division 2, Section 6 – Hino Red Dolphins vs Mie Honda Heat”

  1. I’m not sure where you are getting your info,
    but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for excellent info I was looking for this info for my mission.

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