Kobe, Toyota roll into rugby semifinals

first_img GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES By Kumi KinoharaStaff writer Defending champion Kobe Steel overcame a sluggish first half to rally past Kubota 38-11, advancing to the semifinals of the National Company Rugby Union Championship at Tokyo’s Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium on Sunday.Kansai League champion Toyota Motor, meanwhile, downed Sanix 41-18 at Kyoto’s Takaragaike Stadium. Kobe, which crushed Kyushu Denryoku 117-7 four days ago, struggled under the strong tackles of Kubota forwards in the first half as the East Japan League third-place finisher moved out to a 11-7 lead at halftime with two long-range penalty goals from center Matthew O’Conner, formerly of ACT, and winger Yoshiyuki Okada’s 39th-minute try.But Kobe scored two tries right after the break to begin its rally.Steelers fly-half Andrew Miller scored a try-and-conversion one minute into the second half to put his team ahead 14-11.Three minutes later, flanker Kimiaki Ikegami went across the line in a driving maul from a Kobe line-out.Miller made the conversion and then added a 35-meter penalty goal six minutes later to give Kobe a 21-11 lead and control of the game.“Kubota put lots of pressure on us and won the first half. We knew we had to strike right after halftime, because the longer Kubota stayed with us, it was going to be a difficult game,” Miller said.Steelers No. 8 Tateomi Ito and flanker Atsushi Komura each added a try with Miller making the conversions while holding Kubota scoreless in the half.Kobe captain Terunori Masuho said, “We were able to play as we wanted in the second half after sorting things out at halftime. But we should correct our play and improve stability. Otherwise, we can’t win the tournament.”In Kyoto, leading 14-13 at halftime, Toyota’s Kiwi No. 8 Errol Brain scored his one of two tries from a driving maul and Keiji Hirose made one of his four conversions one minute into the second half to widen the lead to 21-13.Toyota went on to add three more tries, one conversion and one penalty goal.In the semis, set for Jan. 14, Kobe will play either Suntory or Kintetsu at Osaka’s Hanazono Stadium and Toyota, last year’s runnerup in the annual tournament, will meet either World or NEC at Chichibunomiya.The remaining quarterfinals will be held Monday. center_img IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img read more

Details

QPR v Brighton player ratings

first_imgSee also:Austin the hero as QPR battle back against BrightonQPR don’t want to sell Austin, insists Hasselbaink QPR produced a terrific comeback to clinch a point against Brighton. Here’s how we rated the Rangers players in the 2-2 draw at Loftus Road.Rob Green: 5Poor footwork has arguably always been a major weakness of Green’s and he was certainly at fault for Brighton’s second goal, failing to adjust his position after a shot had taken a deflection off Grant Hall. Overall, his failure to command his area did little to help his defenders.AdChoices广告Nedum Onuoha: 7Did a solid job at right-back after moving there following an early injury to James Perch.Grant Hall: 8Another tremendous performance from the centre-back, who goes from strength to strength. Looked slightly jaded in the second half of the previous couple of matches but remains Rangers’ most consistent performer. Once again he was committed, positionally sound and read the game very well.Paul Konchesky: 6Unspectacular but reliable at left-back and tucked in to help out his centre-backs at important times.Sandro: 7Felt he was fouled in the build-up to Brighton’s first goal and went off soon afterwards. Played well during a first half QPR largely dominated.Alejandro Faurlin: 8A vintage Faurlin display, full of incisive passing and excellent set-piece delivery. Punishes teams that neglect to close him down.Matt Phillips: 8Definitely one of Phillips’ best performances this season. Back on the flank after his spell as a makeshift frontman, he was dangerous throughout, set up Rangers’ first goal and was denied by a goal-line clearance.Leroy Fer: 7Involved in some excellent link-up play with Austin in the first half. Performed the off-the-front role as it should be, picking up space cleverly and always supporting the striker. Almost scored with a far-post header in the second half.Junior Hoilett: 7Continued his improved form with another determined, purposeful performance. His confidence has clearly risen in recent weeks.Charlie Austin: 9The fit-again striker was the goalscoring hero for Rangers yet again. Led from the front, both when his team were on top in the first half and when the tide turned against them in the second. Had two efforts on goal after Brighton’s second before he eventually reduced the deficit. And his header from Faurlin’s corner for the late equaliser was typical Austin.Gabriele Angella: 7Sent on after Perch was helped off and had a steady game at the heart of the R’s defence, although he was beaten in the air in the build-up to the opening goal.Karl Henry: 6Worked hard in midfield after coming on for Sandro. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Details