Brumbies, Tahs rolled by Japanese opponents

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The NEC Green Rockets have stunned the Waratahs with a 29-26 win and there were similar fortunes for the Brumbies, who fell 28-26 to Suntory in Tokyo.

The Tahs-Green Rockets clash kicked off the CHICHIBUNOMIYA Minato Rugby Festival on Sunday afternoon and from the outset, it was clear attacking rugby was the order of the day.

The youthful NSW side started in scintillating fashion when Bryce Hegarty scored with two minutes on the clock and just 15 minutes later, Hugh Roach marched over after a big Taqele Naiyaravoro carry split the line.

Mack Mason duly slotted the sideline conversion to open up a 12-3 lead and just a few minutes later, a quick Jake Gordon tap turned into a third Tahs try, the halfback weaving his way to the line.

NEC settled and responded with two tries of their own prior to the half time siren sounding, sending the two teams into the sheds with NSW leading 19-15.

The home side then took the lead with a try soon after play resumed and they made it 26 straight points when Teruya Goto nabbed his double, opening up a 29-19 break.

Gordon responded with a double of his own to set up a grandstand finish but the 15 minutes remaining wasn't enough for NSW, who had a last gasp attacking raid repelled at the death.

The Brumbies battled out a similar shootout with Suntory which went down to the wire, the Top League champs emerging with a two point win.

ACT followed NSW's lead in starting with an early five pointer, Lausii Taliauli drawing first blood.

Suntory responded with two tries of their own before James Verity-Amm put the Brumbies back in it, a 14-12 Suntory lead the score at the break.

Verity-Amm nabbed his double to put the Brumbies back in front when play resumed but Suntory responded once more, a Christian Lealiifano try with 15 to play again putting ACT ahead.

But the Sungoliath had the last laugh when they scored with nine to play, the conversion sailing through to send Australian sides home empty handed.