2012–13 Top League

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2012–13 Top League
Suntory Sungoliath, 50th All Japan Rugby Football Championship Winners.jpg
Winners Suntory were also 50th All Japan champions.
Countries Japan Japan
Date 31 August 2012 – 27 January 2013
Champions Suntory Sungoliath (3rd title)
Runners-up Toshiba Brave Lupus
Top point scorer Japan Ayumu Goromaru (149 pts)
 Yamaha Júbilo
Top try scorer Japan Akihito Yamada (18 tries)
 Panasonic Wild Knights

The 2012–13 Top League was the tenth season of Japan's domestic rugby union competition, the Top League. It kicked off on 31 August 2012. The final was held on 27 January 2013 and won by Suntory Sungoliath to claim their third Top League title.

Teams[edit]

Team Region Coach Captain
Canon Eagles Machida, Tokyo, Kantō Japan Yoji Nagatomo Japan Taku Wada
Fukuoka Sanix Blues Munakata, Fukuoka, Kyūshū Japan Yuichiro Fujii Japan Yasutake Nagashita
Kintetsu Liners Higashiosaka, Osaka, Kansai Japan Ryusuke Maeda Japan Tadanobu Ko
Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers Kobe, Kansai Japan Seiji Hirao Japan Daiki Hashimoto
Kyuden Voltex Fukuoka, Kyūshū Japan Koji Hirata Japan Makoto Matsumoto
NEC Green Rockets Abiko, Chiba, Kantō New Zealand Greg Cooper Japan Ryota Asano
NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes Osaka, Kansai Japan Kazunari Takano Japan Takeshi Hirase
NTT Shining Arcs Chiba, Chiba, Kantō Japan Masato Hayashi Japan Hiraku Tomoigawa
Panasonic Wild Knights Ota, Gunma, Kantō Japan Norifumi Nakajima Japan Seiichi Shimomura
Ricoh Black Rams Tokyo, Kantō New Zealand Leon Holden Japan Daisuke Komatsu
Suntory Sungoliath Fuchū, Tokyo, Kantō Japan Naoya Okubo Japan Shinya Makabe
Toshiba Brave Lupus Fuchū, Tokyo, Kantō Japan Kenichi Wada Japan Masato Toyoda
Toyota Verblitz Toyota, Aichi, Tokai Japan Keiji Hirose Japan Ryuta Ueno
Yamaha Júbilo Iwata, Shizuoka, Tokai Japan Katsuyuki Kiyomiya Japan Yuta Kasahara

Regular season[edit]

The 14 teams played a round-robin tournament for the 2012–13 Top League regular season.

The top 4 qualified for the title play-offs to fight for the Microsoft Cup and the Top League title. The top 4 also qualified directly into the All-Japan Rugby Football Championship.

Teams ranked 5th to 10th went through to the wildcard play-offs for qualification into the All-Japan Rugby Football Championship. Teams ranked 13th and 14th went to the promotion and relegation play-offs against regional challengers to fight to remain in the Top League.

Table[edit]

Top League Table
Club Played Won Drawn Lost Points For Points Against Points Difference Try Bonus Losing Bonus Points
1 Suntory Sungoliath 13 13 0 0 481 258 +223 11 0 63
2 Toshiba Brave Lupus 13 10 0 3 478 266 +212 8 2 50
3 Panasonic Wild Knights 13 10 0 3 509 275 +234 8 1 49
4 Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers 13 9 1 3 468 255 +213 9 2 49
5 Toyota Verblitz 13 9 1 3 343 291 +52 4 1 43
6 Yamaha Júbilo 13 8 0 5 430 311 +119 7 3 42
7 Kintetsu Liners 13 6 0 7 356 308 +48 6 3 33
8 NEC Green Rockets 13 6 0 7 399 375 +24 7 1 32
9 NTT Shining Arcs 13 7 0 6 240 313 –73 1 2 31
10 Ricoh Black Rams 13 5 0 8 322 360 –38 5 3 28
11 Canon Eagles 13 3 0 10 287 382 –95 5 2 19
12 Kyuden Voltex 13 2 0 11 238 593 –355 5 3 16
13 NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes 13 1 0 12 217 524 –307 2 2 8
14 Fukuoka Sanix Blues 13 1 0 12 256 513 –257 2 1 7

 • The top 4 teams qualified to the title play-offs.
 • The top 4 teams also qualified for entry into the All-Japan Rugby Football Championship.
 • Teams 5 to 10 qualified to the wildcard play-offs for entry into the All-Japan Rugby Football Championship.
 • Teams 11 and 12 remain in the Top League for 2013–14.
 • Teams 13 and 14 went through to the promotion and relegation play-offs against regional challengers.

Source:The Rugby Archive[1] Updated: 6 Jan 2013

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).
If teams are level at any stage, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:
 • Difference between points for and against
 • Total number of points for
 • Number of matches won
 • Aggregate number of points scored in matches between tied teams
 • Number of matches won excluding the first match, then the second and so on until the tie is settled

Fixtures and results[edit]

Round 1[edit]

Round 2[edit]

Round 3[edit]

Round 4[edit]

Round 5[edit]

Round 6[edit]

Round 7[edit]

Round 8[edit]

Round 9[edit]

Round 10[edit]

Round 11[edit]

Round 12[edit]

Round 13[edit]

Title play-offs[edit]

Top 4 sides of the regular season competed in the Microsoft Cup (2013) knock out tournament to fight for the Top League title. The top 4 teams of 2012–13 were Suntory Sungoliath, Toshiba Brave Lupus, Panasonic Wild Knights, and Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers.

Semi-finals[edit]

19 January 2013
Suntory Sungoliath 38 – 19 Kobelco Steelers
Try: Hatakeyama 49'
Pisi (2) 57', 78'
Murata 60'
Con: Nicholas (3) 49', 57', 78'
Pen: Nicholas (3) 12', 25', 39'
Drop: Pisi 70'
Try: Yasui 18'
Maekawa 27'
Ohashi 32'
Con: Morita (2) 18', 27'

20 January 2013
Panasonic Wild Knights 8 - 20 Toshiba Brave Lupus
Try: Sasakura 51'
Pen: Delany 24'
Try: T Yoshida 69'
Shin Ito 79'
Con: Hill 69'
R Yoshida 79'
Pen: Hill 14, 55'

Final[edit]

27 January 2013
14:00
Suntory Sungoliath 19 – 3 Toshiba Brave Lupus
Try: Murata (2) 8', 34'
Pisi 75'
Con: Nicholas (2) 34', 75'
Pen: Hill 18'
Prince Chichibu, Tokyo
Attendance: 13,858
Referee: Japan Taizo Hirabayashi
FB 15 Japan Go Aruga Substituted off 76'
RW 14 Japan Daichi Murata Temporarily suspended from 42' to 52' 42' to 52'
OC 13 Japan Koji Taira
IC 12 Japan Ryan Nicholas
LW 11 Japan Hirotoki Onozawa
FH 10 Japan Kosei Ono Substituted off 72'
SH 9 South Africa Fourie du Preez Temporarily suspended from 61' to 71' 61' to 71' Substituted off 72'
N8 8 Japan Masakatsu Nishikawa Substituted off 76'
OF 7 Japan Takamichi Sasaki Substituted off 52'
BF 6 Australia George Smith
RL 5 Japan Shinya Makabe (c)
LL 4 Japan Koji Shinozuka
TP 3 Japan Kensuke Hatakeyama Substituted off 31'
HK 2 Japan Yusuke Aoki Substituted off 54'
LP 1 Japan Akira Ozaki Substituted off 76'
Replacements:
PR 16 Japan Tateo Kanai Substituted in 76'
PR 17 Japan Yosuke Ikegaya Substituted in 31'
LK 18
FL 19 China Shinji Gen Substituted in 76'
SH 20 Japan Atsushi Hiwasa Substituted in 72'
FH 21 Samoa Tusi Pisi Substituted in 72'
FB 22 Japan Hiroki Miyamoto Substituted in 76'
Coach: Japan Naoya Okubo
FB 15 Japan Gochi Tachikawa Substituted off 76'
RW 14 Japan Toshiaki Hirose
OC 13 Japan Hiroki Yoshida
IC 12 Japan Tomohiro Senba
LW 11 Japan Shin Ito
FH 10 New Zealand David Hill Substituted off 40'
SH 9 Japan Jun Fujii Substituted off 47'
N8 8 Japan Masato Toyoda (c)
OF 7 Japan Tomoaki Nakai
BF 6 New Zealand Steven Bates Substituted off 53'
RL 5 Japan Hitoshi Ono
LL 4 Japan Yota Mochizuki Substituted off 72'
TP 3 Japan Takuma Asahara
HK 2 Japan Hiroki Yuhara Substituted off 72'
LP 1 Japan Tomohiro Kubo Substituted off 58'
Replacements:
HK 16 Japan Taku Inokuchi Substituted in 72'
PR 17 Japan Masataka Mikami Substituted in 58'
LK 18 Japan Kyosuke Kajikawa Substituted in 72'
FL 19 Japan Michael Leitch Substituted in 53'
SH 20 Japan Tomoki Yoshida Substituted in 47'
CE 21 New Zealand Neil Brew Substituted in 40'
WG 22 Japan Takehisa Usuzuki Substituted in 76'
Coach: Japan Kenichi Wada

Wildcard play-offs[edit]

The two second round winners qualified for the All-Japan Rugby Football Championship.

First round[edit]

The Top League teams ranked 7th and 10th played-off for the right to meet the Top League team ranked 5th in the second round. The Top League teams ranked 8th and 9th played-off for the right to meet the Top League team ranked 6th in the second round.




So Kintetsu and NEC progressed to the second round.

Second round[edit]

The Top League team ranked 5th played-off against the winner of the teams ranked 7th and 10th, and the Top League team ranked 6th played-off against the winner of the teams ranked 8th and 9th. The two winning second round teams advanced to the All-Japan Rugby Football Championship.




So Toyota and Yamaha advanced to the All-Japan Rugby Football Championship.

Top League Challenge Series[edit]

Coca-Cola West Red Sparks and Kubota Spears won promotion to the 2013–14 Top League via the 2012–13 Top League Challenge Series, while Mitsubishi Dynaboars and Toyota Industries Shuttles progressed to the promotion play-offs.

Promotion and relegation play-offs[edit]

The Top League teams ranked 14th and 13th played-off against the Challenge 1 teams ranked 3rd and 4th respectively, for the right to be included in the Top League for the following season.




So Toyota Industries was promoted, Sanix was relegated, and NTT remained in the Top League for the next season.

End of season awards[edit]

Awards for the Top League season, including the Best XV, were chosen by a panel of members of the media, coaches and captains. The Best XV for the 2012-13 season was spread across six different clubs.[2]

Team Awards[edit]

Award Winner
Top League winners: Suntory Sungoliath
Fair Play award: Fukuoka Sanix Blues
Best fans: Kobelco Steelers

Individual awards[edit]

Award Winner
Top League MVP: Australia George Smith (Suntory Sungoliath)
Rookie award: Japan Kohei Yoshida (Toyota Verblitz)
Most tries: Japan Akihito Yamada (Panasonic Wild Knights)
Top scorer: Japan Ayumu Goromaru (Yamaha Jubilo)
Best kicker: Japan Ayumu Goromaru (Yamaha Jubilo)
Best referee: Japan Taizo Hirabayashi
Playoffs MVP: Samoa Tusi Pisi (Suntory Sungoliath)
Special prize: Japan Hirotoki Onozawa (Suntory Sungoliath)
First player to score 100 Top League tries

Team of the season[edit]

# Winner
1. Japan Yoshimitsu Yasue (Kobelco Steelers)
2. Japan Yusuke Aoki (Suntory Sungoliath)
3. Japan Kensuke Hatakeyama (Suntory Sungoliath)
4. Japan Hitoshi Ono (Toshiba Brave Lupus)
5. Japan Shinya Makabe (Suntory Sungoliath)
6. Australia George Smith (Suntory Sungoliath)
7. Japan Michael Leitch (Toshiba Brave Lupus)
8. Japan Takashi Kikutani (Toyota Verblitz)
9. Japan Atsushi Hiwasa (Suntory Sungoliath)
10. Japan Kosei Ono (Suntory Sungoliath)
11. Japan Akihito Yamada (Panasonic Wild Knights)
12. Samoa Male Sa'u (Yamaha Jubilo)
13. South Africa Jaque Fourie (Kobelco Steelers)
14. Japan Hirotoki Onozawa (Suntory Sungoliath)
15. Japan Ayumu Goromaru (Yamaha Jubilo)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2012/13 Top League". The Rugby Archive. 
  2. ^ "Rugby in Japan Newsletter Volume 10, No.5". Rugby International. 6 February 2013. Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 

External links[edit]