2008–09 Top League
|2008–09 Top League|
|Date||5 September 2008 - 18 January 2009|
|Champions||Toshiba Brave Lupus|
The Top League is a semi-professional competition which is at the top of the national league system in Japan, with promotion and relegation between the next level down.
- 1 Pre-season
- 2 Teams
- 3 Regular season
- 4 Title play-offs
- 5 Challenge series
- 6 Promotion and relegation play-offs
- 7 Top 10 points scorers
- 8 End of season awards
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Kintetsu Liners returned to the league, and Yokogawa Denki were promoted for the first time (and renamed Yokogawa Musashino Atlastars in the off season). They replaced Ricoh Black Rams and Mitsubishi Dynaboars.
|Coca Cola West Red Sparks||Fukuoka, Kyushu|
|Fukuoka Sanix Blues||Fukuoka, Kyushu|
|IBM Big Blue||Chiba, Kanto|
|Kintetsu Liners||Osaka, Kansai|
|Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers||Hyogo, Kansai|
|Kubota Spears||Chiba, Kanto|
|Kyuden Voltex||Fukuoka, Kyushu|
|NEC Green Rockets||Chiba, Kanto|
|Sanyo Wild Knights||Gunma, Kanto|
|Suntory Sungoliath||Tokyo, Kanto|
|Toshiba Brave Lupus||Tokyo, Kanto|
|Toyota Verblitz||Aichi, Tokai|
|Yamaha Jubilo||Shizuoka, Tokai|
|Yokogawa Musashino Atlastars||Tokyo, Kanto|
|Top League Table|
|Club||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Points For||Points Against||Points Difference||Try Bonus||Losing Bonus||Points|
|1||Toshiba Brave Lupus||13||12||0||1||563||211||+352||59|
|2||Sanyo Wild Knights||13||12||0||1||584||197||+387||58|
|5||NEC Green Rockets||13||8||0||5||298||309||−11||37|
|10||Coca Cola Red Sparks||13||6||0||7||273||353||−80||26|
|11||Fukuoka Sanix Blues||13||3||0||10||266||442||−176||21|
|13||IBM Big Blue||13||1||0||12||222||496||−274||8|
|14||Yokogawa Musashino Atlastars||13||1||0||12||230||574||−344||8|
• The top 4 teams qualified for the title play-offs.
Source:The Rugby Archive
Four points for a win, two for a draw, one bonus point for four tries or more (BP1) and one bonus point for losing by seven or less (BP2).
Fixtures and results
|This section requires expansion with: Results Rd 1-13 (source top-league.jp). (November 2013)|
Top 4 sides of the regular season competed in the Microsoft Cup (2009) knock out tournament to fight for the Top League title. The top 4 teams of 2008–09 were Toshiba Brave Lupus, Sanyo Wild Knights, Kobe Steelers and Suntory Sungoliath.
|1 February 2009||Toshiba Brave Lupus||26 - 7||Kobe Steelers|
|1 February 2009||Sanyo Wild Knights||32 - 22||Suntory Sungoliath|
|8 February 2009||Toshiba Brave Lupus||17 - 6||Sanyo Wild Knights|
|This section requires expansion with: Results (source rugbyarchive.net). (November 2013)|
The top-placed regional teams from East Japan, West Japan, and Kyushu played each other in a round-robin tournament. The top two were automatically promoted, replacing the 13th and 14th teams that were automatically relegated. The third-placed team went through to the promotion and relegation play-offs against the 12th placed Top League team, with the winner of that game taking a Top League place.
Final order: 1st-Ricoh, 2nd-Honda, 3rd-Mazda.
So Ricoh and Honda were promoted to the Top League for the following season. Mazda advanced to the promotion and relegation playoffs.
The second-placed regional teams East Japan, West Japan, and Kyushu played each other in a round-robin tournament for the right to right to play the 11th placed Top League team, with the winner taking a Top League place.
Final order: 1st-Toyota Industries, 2nd-NTT, 3rd-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
So Toyota Industries advanced to the promotion and relegation playoffs.
Promotion and relegation play-offs
Two promotion/relegation matches (Irekaesen) were played with the winners qualifying for the Top League in the next season. The 12th-placed team from the Top League against the 3rd-placed team from Challenge 1. The 11th-placed team from the Top League against the 1st-placed team from Challenge 2.
|14 February 2009||Fukuoka Sanix Blues||38 – 22||Toyota Industries Shuttles|
|14 February 2009||Kyuden Voltex||31 - 10||Mazda Blue Zoomers|
So Sanix and Kyuden stayed in the Top League for the following season.
Top 10 points scorers
|1||David Hill||Toshiba Brave Lupus||226||11||60||17||0|
|2||Ryan Nicholas||Suntory Sungoliath||158||5||41||17||0|
|3||Shane Drahm||Kubota Spears||136||1||16||31||2|
|4||Yasumasa Shigemitsu||Kintetsu Liners||123||5||22||18||0|
|5||Thinus Delport||Kobe Steelers||122||4||18||22||0|
|6||Genki Saito||Kyuden Voltex||117||2||28||16||1|
|6||Tadanobu Ko||IBM Big Blue||117||2||22||20||1|
|8||Masakazu Irie||Sanyo Wild Knights||114||3||33||11||0|
|9||Ayumu Goromaru||Yamaha Jubilo||98||4||15||16||0|
|10||Daisuke Haradome||Coca Cola West Red Sparks||88||4||16||12||0|
- Pts = Points scored
- T = Tries
- C = Conversions
- PG = Penalty Goals
- DG = Drop Goals
End of season awards
|1||PR||Hisateru Nirashima||Kobe Steelers|
|2||HO||Yusuke Aoki||Suntory Sungoliath|
|3||PR||Kensuke Hatakeyama||Suntory Sungoliath|
|4||LO||Hitoshi Ono||Toshiba Brave Lupus|
|5||LO||Daniel Heenan||Sanyo Wild Knights|
|6||FL||Steven Bates||Toshiba Brave Lupus|
|7||FL||Reuben Thorne||Yamaha Jubilo|
|8||No.8||Ryukoliniasi Holani||Sanyo Wild Knights|
|9||SH||Fumiaki Tanaka||Sanyo Wild Knights|
|10||SO||David Hill||Toshiba Brave Lupus|
|11||WTB||Hirotoki Onozawa||Suntory Sungoliath|
|12||CTB||Ryan Nicholas||Suntory Sungoliath|
|13||CTB||Seiichi Shimonura||Sanyo Wild Knights|
|14||WTB||Tomoki Kitagawa||Sanyo Wild Knights|
|15||FB||Hiroki Yoshida||Toshiba Brave Lupus|
- PR = Prop
- HO = Hooker
- LO = Lock
- FL = Flanker
- SH = Scrum Half
- SO = Stand Off
- CTB = Centre Three Quarter Back
- WTB = Wing THree Quarter Back
- FB = Full back
- "Japan - Top League Challenge 2008/09". rugbyarchive.net. Retrieved 21 November 2013.