Suntory Sungoliath

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Suntory Sungoliath
サントリーサンゴリアス
Suntory.png
Union Japan Rugby Football Union
Founded April 1980
Location Fuchū, Tokyo, Japan
Ground(s) Suntory Fuchu Sports Centre (Capacity: 5,000)
Coach(es) Australia Andy Friend
League(s) Top League
2007-8 League Champion (won Microsoft Cup)
Team kit

Suntory Sungoliath (also known as Suntory Rugby Football Club) is owned by the Suntory beverage company and is one of the Japanese rugby union teams in the Top League. The team is based in Fuchū, Tokyo, as is their local rival Toshiba Brave Lupus. The slogan for the 2006-7 season was "ALIVE" and it continued to be the slogan in 2007-8.

Suntory coached by Katsuyuki Kiyomiya won the Microsoft Cup on February 24, 2008 by defeating Sanyo Wild Knights in a close and exciting game, 14-10. Suntory therefore became the champion of the Top League for the 2007–08 season. However Sanyo gained revenge in the 45th All-Japan Championship final, beating Suntory 40-18.

On June 18, 2008 it was announced that George Gregan, the most-capped player in the sport's history, had joined the club on a two-year contract. (Daily Yomiuri, June 19, 2008) Gregan remained with the club until he announced his retirement at the end of the 2010–11 season.

In 2010 USA Rugby captain Todd Clever joined the club.

Honours[edit]

  • All-Japan Company Championship
    • Champions: 1995, 2001, 2002,
  • Top League Championship
    • Champions:2011-12,

History[edit]

The club was established in 1980, and since then they have won the All-Japan Championship on numerous occasions. They have also compete in the recently formed Top League since its founding in 2003. The team has been improving in the League over the past few years. Suntory Sungoliath famously beat Wales 45-41 on Saturday 3 June 2001 whilst they were on tour in Japan.

Top League Results[edit]

In the first season of the Top League, 2003–04, Suntory finished 4th. In 2004–05 they finished 8th. The team was 6th in the 2005–06 season and jumped up to 2nd in the 2006-7 season under new coach Katsuyuki Kiyomiya and assisted by Michael Jones. In 2006 Suntory Sungoliath lost the final of the Top League and Microsoft Cup title to Toshiba Brave Lupus by a score of 33-18. Then in February 2007, Suntory Sungoliath again lost the final of the Top League and Microsoft Cup to Toshiba Brave Lupus before a crowd of 23,076 at Tokyo's Chichibunomiya Stadium (home to Mark Secker), the first sellout at the ground in 10 years, with the final score being just 14-13 to Toshiba Brave Lupus. In the first Top League game of the 2007-8 season Suntory gained revenge over Toshiba with a 10-3 win on October 26, 2007. At the end of the 13-game season Suntory was second behind Sanyo Wild Knights, having lost to Sanyo and by just one point to Coca Cola West Red Sparks, and drawn 31-31 with Toyota Verblitz in the final round. Sanyo and Suntory met again in the Microsoft Cup final on February 24 to decide the 2007–08 Top League champion. Suntory won that game 14-10 with a very strong mauling attack.

Top League Table[edit]

The table begins with the first season of the Top League, 2003-04.

Season Order Played Won Drawn Lost T G PG DG Penalties Points For Points Against Points Diff Pts Coach
2003–04 4th 11 8 0 3 61 44 5 0 150 408 265 143 42 Yuji Nagatomo
2004–05 8th 11 4 0 7 43 28 12 0 142 307 282 25 24 Yuji Nagatomo
2005–06 6th 11 6 0 5 43 30 10 1 118 308 241 67 32 Yuji Nagatomo
2006–07 2nd 13 11 0 2 81 58 8 0 157 545 161 384 56 Katsuyuki Kiyomiya
2007–08 2nd 13 10 1 2 70 47 3 0 106 453 229 224 53 Katsuyuki Kiyomiya

2014–15 Squad[edit]

The Suntory Sungoliath squad for 2014-15 Top League season:[1]

Props

Hookers

Locks

 

Loose Forwards

Scrum-halves

Fly-halves

 

Centres

Wingers

Fullbacks

(c) Denotes team captain, Bold denotes player is internationally capped

Former Notable Players[edit]

Coach[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Suntory Sungoliath: The Team" (in Japanese). Top League. Retrieved 2 September 2014.