Please view the main text area of the page by skipping the main menu.

Rugby: Wallaby Foley points Spears past Verblitz

Yokohama Eagles' Faf de Klerk, center, runs with the ball during the first half of a Japan Rugby League One match against Black Rams Tokyo on Feb. 4, 2023, at Nippatsu Mitsuzawa Stadium in Yokohama. (Kyodo)

NAGOYA (Kyodo) -- Australia international Bernard Foley created two tries, forced a turnover that led to a third, and kicked 14 points in a man-of-the-match effort as unbeaten Spears Funabashi Tokyo Bay defeated Toyota Verblitz 44-34 on Saturday in Japan Rugby League One.

    The fly-half led the way as Spears repeatedly found space to attack in the first half. His surging run through a poorly organized defense set up Koga Nezuka's fourth-minute try, while the Wallaby's kick pass set the stage for Haruto Kida to cross 12 minutes later.

    With Spears leading 29-10 in the closing minutes of the first half at Nagoya's Paloma Mizuho Rugby Stadium, a Foley tackle resulted in a turnover that Nezuka exploited for his second try.

    The hosts dominated possession throughout but were less creative with the ball. Their straight-forward, bludgeoning style did not pay any real dividends until the second half, when hooker Yoshikatsu Hikosaka scored the first of his two tries, both coming from mauls.

    Jamie Henry's 78th-minute try gave Verblitz a chance of a late comeback, but Tiaan Falcon missed the conversion, leaving Spears with a 39-34 lead. A try in the 80th by Halatoa Vailea off a turnover ended any remaining suspense.

    Spears' win left them with six wins and a draw. Elsewhere, Yokohama Eagles beat Black Rams Tokyo 34-13.

    Also in The Mainichi

    The Mainichi on social media