Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Sagamihara Dynaboars VS NEC Green Rockets Tokatsu
(Author: Azul, March 8, 2023)
On 26 February 2023, Japan Rugby League One reached its ninth round and I went to Chichibunomiya Rugby Ground in Minato Ward, Tokyo, to watch the game. (Nearly half of my matches this season have been at Chichibunomiya Rugby Ground.)
League One has already played half of its matches this season, and as of 26 February, the standings are as follows.
|2022-23||League One Order(Division 1)||2023.2.26|
|5||Tokyo Brave Lupas||4||5||0||21||64|
|8||Shizuoka Blue Revs||2||6||1||15||-1|
|9||Black Rams Tokyo||3||6||0||14||-21|
|11||Green Rockets Tokatsu||1||7||0||5||-165|
The four teams in the play-offs for the championship are now almost firmly established, with the Wildnights, Spears, Sungoliath and Eagles in the top four and points clear of the bottom five, with Bravelupas in fifth place still in with a chance of pulling the upset.
Conversely, the three teams at the bottom of the table, Liners (12th) and Green Rockets (11th), are almost certain to play for a place in Division 2. The remaining one team could be any of the teams in 7th to 10th place. It is a tough survival game.
If a team is relegated from Division 1 to Division 2, it will play significantly fewer games and attract fewer spectators, which means lower salaries for individual players and more players having their contracts terminated next season. The replacement competition is a battle for survival as a professional sports player.
And today’s game was a match between two teams who cannot afford to lose to each other in order to win the replacement game.
It’s between the Dynaboars, currently ranked seventh in League One, and the Green Rockets, currently ranked 11th.
Here are the latest updates on both teams.
First, an update on the home team of the day, the Sagamihara Dynaboars.
Last season, they finished third in Division 2 and beat NTT Shining Arcs in the replacement round to gain their long-awaited promotion to Division 1. Before the season started, most predictions were that the team would finish in the bottom half of the table, as they were promoted from third place in Division 2. However, the team has greatly surpassed those expectations, winning three games, losing one and drawing one by the fifth round, winning against last season’s top teams and becoming the eye of the storm in the first half of the season.
Today’s opponents, Green Rockets, were last in Division One last season, failing to win a single game, but survived to reach the round of fixtures and remain in Division One. For the Dynaboars players and fans, this was a game they did not want to lose. I expect a hot game.
Here is today’s starting line-up for the Dynaboars.
|4||Linde Makoto DANIEL||198cm||105kg||35|
|8||Jackson HEMOPO||194cm||112kg||29||NZ 5cap|
|12||Henry BRACKIN||180cm||95kg||34||Japan 7th|
＊＊ Player to watch ＊＊
Kota IWAMURA. 182 cm, 87 kg, 29 years old. He is a graduate of Doshisha University and is the captain of the Dynaboars. A large scrum-half, a rarity in Japan, he is a rare player who can break through the scrum side and stop opposing FWs from breaking through on their own, with a physique that is comparable to a FW third row player.
Next, here is the latest information on NEC Green Rockets Tokatsu.
As of 26 Feb, they are in 11th place in League One with 1 win and 7 losses. Their only win came from the bottom-placed Liners. Last season, the team lost all of its games in League One and finished at the bottom of the table, but in the replacement round, they played with HONDA Heat to stay in Division One. The team’s attacking ability is also good in Division One, as is the way they play. The main reasons for the loss are the high level of infringements and the incomplete team defence: the Green Rockets brought in a large number of players from other teams before entering League One, so their team tactics are not yet set in stone. The Green Rockets, however, have been rubbing shoulders with the Dynaboars at the high level of Division One last season and are determined not to lose to a newly promoted team, which is the opposite of the Dynaboars. They are not going to want to lose this match either.
The Green Rockets starting line-up is as follows.
|8||Aseri MASIVOU||180cm||87kg||24||Japan 7th|
|9||Nick PHIPPS||170cm||75kg||34||Australia 72cap|
|15||Lemeki LOMANO LAVA||178cm||96kg||34||Japan 16cap|
＊＊ Player to watch ＊＊
Lemeki LOMANO LAVA. 178 cm, 96 kg, 34 years old. Japan national team caps=16. Position=WTB, FB, SO. In a sense, he represents the current Green Rockets. He moved from Honda Heat at the start of League One. The Green Rockets did not have a player who could play the game-making SO at a high level, so Lemeki, who has not enough experience as SO, played a lot of games as the main SO last season. However, he has gradually adapted and has done so, reaffirming Lemeki’s extraordinary talent.
So, let the match begin.
5 minutes into the first half:
Dynaboars kicked off and the game got underway, with Dynaboars looking for an opportunity to score in opposition territory. From there, the Dynaboars expanded to the right and SO Shilcock easily slipped through to score a try just under the opposition goal posts. A successful conversion goal after the try also put the Dynaboars ahead. The score was 7-0.
25 minutes into the first half:
Green Rockets kicked the ball deep into enemy territory, where the Dynaboars attempted to maul their way forward from their own lineout, but the ball was held up by Green Rockets and a maul unplayable infringement was committed, resulting in a scrum. The Green Rockets then moved the ball left and CTB RAUI broke through the opposition defence to score a try at the left end of the goal post. The conversion goal after the try was also successful and the score was tied 7-7.
29 minutes of the first half:
The Dynaboars secured the ball kicked into their own right flank, and when it was deployed from there, the Green Rockets were fouled for Not role away. From that position, SO SHILLCOCK kicked a PK to the enemy’s right near the 22m line, where the Dynaboars attempted a series of attacks from their own ball lineout, which the Green Rockets defence held firm and stopped well, but when the ball was deployed to the left, the Dynaboars SO SHILLCOCK cut in cleverly and scored a try in the left centre. The conversion goal after the try was also successful and the score was 14-7, Dynaboars again taking the lead.
First 34 minutes into the first half:
The Green Rockets launched a series of attacks in enemy territory. The Green Rockets attacked strongly and gradually moved forward in enemy territory, gradually closing in on the opposition in-goal. Green Rockets’ No.8 MASIVOU dragged three opposition day defenders to the edge of the in-goal, which was barely stopped by the Dynaboars’ defenders. However, Green Rockets SH PHIPPS supplied a quick pass from here and SO KANAI scored a try to the right side of the goal post. The conversion goal after the try was also successful and the score was again level at 14-14.
The first half ended with the score unchanged.
The Dynaboars scored two tries through SO Shilcock’s clever exploitation of the opposition defence after breaking down the opposition formation with an all-out attack, while the Green Rockets showed their ability to break through with their No.8 and CTB to score tries by sheer force. It was an evenly contested game, with both sides showing their strengths.
Now for the start of the second half.
9 minutes into the second half:
Greeen Rockets lost a lineout of their own ball near the 22m line on the right side of enemy territory to the Dynaboars. However, in a dense battle immediately afterwards, the Green Rockets won the ball back and launched a series of attacks. After a series of densely packed battles near the goal posts, Green Rockets’ SO KANAI saw the opposition formation and released a long pass to WTB OMATA who was waiting on the left flank. OMATA caught it and scored a try in the left corner of the enemy in-goal. The conversion goal after the try was also successful and the score was 14-21, with the Green Rockets taking the lead for the first time in the match.
17 minutes into the second half:
The Dynaboars scored from a lineout deep in the enemy territory on their right flank, and after a maul, they surged forward and hooker MIYAZATO scored a try in the middle on the right. The conversion goal after the try was also successful and the score was tied 21-21.
23 minutes into the second half:
The Dynaboars were looking for a try rather than a PG after an infringement in opposition territory, and SO Silcock kicked deep down the right flank to give them a lineout on their own ball, which they mauled for a try. Once the Green Rockets broke up the maul, they were penalised and the Dynaboars again went for a maul try, with hooker MIYAZATO scoring his second try of the day. The conversion goal after the try failed, and the score was 26-21, with the Dynaboars back in front.
34 minutes into the second half:
After FB Roland was temporarily sent off for a foul by the Dynaboars in the 27th minute of the second half, the Green Rockets went on the attack in quick succession, trying to score a try, but the Dynaboars managed to hold on. However, the Green Rockets then won a lineout on the left side of the opposition line, and from there, the Green Rockets formed a maul and surged forward, scoring a try by hooker SATO in the middle on the left.
Hooker SATO scored a try. The conversion goal after the try failed.
40 minutes of the second half
The teams were locked in a tight contest with only a few minutes remaining. The Green Rockets dominated the ball and continued to attack in succession, using all the ground left and right, until the Green Rockets broke from the right corner and the ball was passed to FB REMEKI, who rolled in a golo punt from deep enemy territory. This was caught by Green Rockets WTB OMATA, who scored a try in the left corner of the enemy in-goal.
The horn went before the conversion goal after the try, so the game ended as soon as the conversion goal after the try was scored. The final score was 26-33.
The win gave Green Rockets their second win since the opening day of the season. In contrast, the Dynaboars suffered their fourth consecutive defeat, but as they won by seven points or less, they picked up one winning point. Both teams will now have a tough battle to stay in the first division, which will continue until the final day of the season.
Paid attendance on the day was 3,217. Thanks for the hotly contested match. Thanks to both teams.
Stop the war.
Peace to Ukraine