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Rugby: Battling Steelers end Eagles' playoff bid

This photo shows Lukhanyo Am, right, of Kobelco Kobe Steelers en route to scoring a try during the first half of a Japan Rugby League One match against Yokohama Canon Eagles on May 1, 2022, at Kobe Universiade Stadium in Kobe, western Japan. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Rakuhei Yamashita crossed for a pair of tries as Kobelco Kobe Steelers overran Yokohama Canon Eagles 42-33 on Sunday, ending their opponents' bid to secure League One's fourth and final championship playoff berth.

    With only one round remaining and the top three teams already decided, their defeat at Kobe Universiade Stadium and Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo's win eliminated the Eagles from playoff contention.

    Kobe flyhalf Seungsin Lee crossed for the opening try in the seventh minute before kicking the first of his three conversions.

    A converted Jesse Kriel try put the Eagles up 19-17 five minutes into the second half, but the Steelers quickly retook the lead on Yamashita's first try and never trailed again.

    Toshiba moved up to fourth on 49 points by beating leaders Tokyo Sungoliath 27-3. Three tries and 12 points off the boot of flyhalf Hayata Nakao lifted Toshiba above fifth-place Toyota Verblitz, who are on 46 points.

    Kubota Spears Funabashi Tokyo Bay maintained their grip on second place by beating Shining Arcs Tokyo Bay Urayasu 40-13, while third-place Saitama Wild Knights brushed aside Green Rockets Tokatsu 39-10.

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