2004–05 Top League
|2004–05 Top League|
|Champions||Toshiba Brave Lupus|
|Top try scorer||Ruatangi Vatuvei (18 tries)|
The 2004–05 Top League was the second season of Japan's domestic rugby union competition, the Top League. Toshiba Brave Lupus won both the league round-robin and the Microsoft Cup knockout competitions.
|IBM Big Blue||Chiba, Kanto|
|Kintetsu Liners||Osaka, Kansai|
|Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers||Hyogo, Kansai|
|Kubota Spears||Chiba, Kanto|
|NEC Green Rockets||Chiba, Kanto|
|Ricoh Black Rams||Tokyo, Kanto|
|Sanyo Wild Knights||Gunma, Kanto|
|Suntory Sungoliath||Tokyo, Kanto|
|Toshiba Brave Lupus||Tokyo, Kanto|
|Toyota Verblitz||Aichi, Tokai|
|World Fighting Bull||Kobe, Kansai|
|Yamaha Jubilo||Shizuoka, Tokai|
Top League season
|Top League Table|
|Club||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Points For||Points Against||Points Difference||Try Bonus||Losing Bonus||Points|
|1||Toshiba Brave Lupus||11||10||0||1||463||166||297||9||1||50|
|3||NEC Green Rockets||11||9||0||2||407||253||154||7||1||44|
|7||Sanyo Wild Knights||11||4||0||7||346||296||50||4||4||24|
|9||World Fighting Bull||11||4||0||7||230||366||-136||3||1||20|
|10||Ricoh Black Rams||11||4||0||7||207||370||-163||1||1||18|
|12||IBM Big Blue||11||1||0||10||243||495||-252||4||2||10|
• The top 8 teams qualified to the Microsoft Cup play-offs.
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 needs expansion with: Results Rd 1-11 (source top-league.jp). You can help by adding to it. (November 2013)|
Microsoft Cup play-offs
|23 January 2005||Toshiba Brave Lupus||33 - 13||Suntory Sungoliath||Chichibunomiya|
|23 January 2005||NEC Green Rockets||16 - 51||Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers||Chichibunomiya|
|23 January 2005||Toyota Verblitz||41 - 21||Sanyo Wild Knights||Hanazono|
|23 January 2005||Yamaha Jubilo||38 - 33||Kubota Spears||Hanazono|
|30 January 2005||Toshiba Brave Lupus||41 - 0||Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers||Chichibunomiya|
|30 January 2005||Toyota Verblitz||33 - 33||Yamaha Jubilo||Hanazono|
The number of tries and goals being equal, the result was decided in favour of Yamaha by a lottery held at Hanazono after the game.
|6 February 2005||Toshiba Brave Lupus||20 - 6||Yamaha Jubilo||Chichibunomiya|
In the season Toshiba Brave Lupus were top of the Top League, and Yamaha were second.
The top-placed regional teams from East Japan, West Japan and Kyushu played each other in Challenge 1. The top two were automatically promoted, replacing the 11th and 12th teams which were automatically relegated. The third-placed team played the 10th placed Top League team, with the winner of that game taking a Top League place.
|16 January 2005||Secom Rugguts||0 - 34||Fukuoka Sanix Bombs||Komazawa, Tokyo|
|23 January 2005||Fukuoka Sanix Bombs||41 - 36||Toyota Industries Shuttles||Hakata no Mori, Fukuoka|
|29 January 2005||Toyota Industries Shuttles||17 - 24||Secom Rugguts||Mizuho Koen, Nagoya|
Final order: 1st-Sanix, 2nd-Secom, 3rd-Toyota Industries.
So Sanix and Secom were promoted to the Top League for 2005-06.
The second-placed regional teams played each other in Challenge 2 for the right to play the 9th placed Top League team, with the winner taking a Top League place.
|16 January 2005||Mitsubishi Juko Sagamihara||14 - 62||Coca-Cola West Japan||Komazawa, Tokyo|
|23 January 2005||Coca-Cola West Japan||15 - 28||Honda Heat||Hakata no Mori, Fukuoka|
|29 January 2005||Honda Heat||31 - 54||Mitsubishi Juko Sagamihara||Mizuho Koen, Nagoya|
Final order: 1st-Honda, 2nd-Coca-Cola West Japan, 3rd-Mitsubishi.
So Honda Heat won the right to play World Fighting Bull for a place in the Top League 2005-06 (Honda came top in Challenge 2 because they gained a bonus point for the number of tries scored against Mitsubishi).
Promotion and relegation play-offs
Two promotion/relegation matches (Irekaesen) were played with the winners qualifying for the 2005–06 Top League. The 10th-placed team from the Top League against the 3rd-placed team from Challenge 1. The 9th-placed team from the Top League against the 1st-placed team from Challenge 2.
|13 February 2005||Ricoh Black Rams||42 - 7||Toyota Industries Shuttles|
|13 February 2005||World Fighting Bull||49 - 0||Honda Heat|
So Ricoh and World stayed in the Top League for the 2005–06 season.