Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo beat NEC Green Rockets Tokatsu 49-20 with 14 men
Sunday also saw a courageous performance by Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo, who beat NEC Green Rockets Tokatsu 49-20 despite playing 71 minutes with 14 men after prop Latu Taufa was sent off.
A magnificent rally saw Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo overcome the loss of prop Latu Taufa to a red card in the ninth minute, and halfback Jack Stratton for 10 minutes in the 34th, and still get the job done against NEC Green Rockets Tokatsu.
Todd Blackadder’s men, who were bidding for back-to-back wins to keep their playoffs hopes alive, looked in trouble when their prop was marched for dangerous play while the game was still scoreless.
Down a man, Brave Lupus lived up to their name, and had still established a two-try, nine-point, advantage when Stratton saw yellow after the concession of a series of penalties by his side.
The Green Rockets scored twice against the remaining 13, and Toshiba’s prospects looked precarious when their numbers returned to 14, with the Green Rockets ahead 20-18 and 36 minutes still to play.
Brave Lupus scored twice while the former Crusader was off the field to turn a two-point deficit into a 12-point lead and grab back the momentum decisively.
Although Toshiba’s 12-point buffer was not insurmountable at the 60-minute mark, the Green Rockets’ race was run, and Brave Lupus added two further tries before the end, raising their tally for the game to six.
This secured a valuable bonus point to keep them within six points of the top four on the championship standings.