Ashley-Cooper's Kobe end Suntory's Top League run

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by Beth Newman

Japanese powerhouse Suntory have missed out on a Top League three-peat after a 55-5 loss to the Kobe Kobelco Steelers on Saturday.

The Steelers’ comprehensive ends an eight-year run of the Sungoliath and the Sanyo/Panasonic Wild Knights dominating the Japanese league.

Toshiba were the last team outside of those two to hold up the trophy back in the 2009-10 season.

It took just three minutes for the Steelers to open their scorecard with a try and the Sungoliath were immediately on the back foot.

Wallabies back Adam Ashley-Cooper notched a try for Kobe to kick off the second half, one of eight Steelers tries for the day.

All Blacks legend Dan Carter booted 13 points in the Steelers win, adding another trophy to his collection in his first season in Japan.

Sean McMahon, Matt Giteau, Chris Alcock and Matt Lucas were among the Aussies that featured for the Sungoliath on the hunt for another title.


Kobe 55

Tries: Fraser 2, Yamanaka 2, Arita, Ashley-Cooper, Franklin, Hattingh

Cons: Carter 5

Pens: Carter

Suntory 5

Tries: Ozaki