Top League Wrap Up: Giteau and Carter star in quarter final wins

Top League Wrap Up: Giteau and Carter star in quarter final wins
  • Matt Giteau's boot helps Sungoliath knock Frans Ludeke's Kubota Spears out
  • Kwagga Smith scores as Yamaha Jubilo beat Shining Arcs
  • Dan Carter scores 28 points as Wayne Smith's Kobe Kobelco Steelers thrash Ricoh Black Rams
  • Jake White's Toyota Verblitz edge Robbie Dean's Wild Knights

The Japanese Top League is in the business end of the competition with the Semi-Finals confirmed after Suntory Sungoliath, Yamaha Jubilo, Verblitz and Kobe Kobelco Steelers claimed wins this weekend.

Suntory held on by the skin of their teeth to beat Kubota Spears 28-26 with former Wallabies playmaker Matt Giteau's trusty left boot proving to be the difference.

Sean McMahon crossed over the whitewash for one of Suntory's three tries with Giteau kicking two penalties and two conversions, as Suntory went into the break 25-7 up.

Former Bulls coach Frans Ludeke's side hit back in the second half and had closed to within four points when Burger Odendaal went over between the sticks before the try was disallowed by a knock-on much earlier in the build-up. 

The defending champions, Suntory, managed to hold on and secure the result and a place in the semi final where they will met Yamaha Jubilo who beat NTT Communications Shining Arcs 33-21.

Jubilo got over the line thanks to tries from Kyosuke Horie, Gerhardus Labuschagne, Kwagga Smith, Eishin Kuwano and penalty try with Ayumu Goromaru adding the extras on all but one of the tries.

Former All Black coach Wayne Smith's side Kobe Kobelco Steelers downed Ricoh Black Rams 63-27 and will met Jake White's Toyota Verblitz in the semi final after the former Springbok coach's side beat Robbie Deans' Panasonic Wild Knights 31-27.

Dan Carter gave an imperious display for Kobe Kobelco Steelers scoring two tries, converting six tries and two penalty goals, while Fraser Anderson bagged a hat-trick of tries as the Steelers remained on track to end a title drought lasting since they won in the inaugural 2003-2004 season.

Former Cheetahs player Clinton Swart scored a try, created two more, and kicked four penalties along with two conversions as Jake White's Toyota ran out 31-27 winners against Robbie Deans' Panasonic Wild Knights at Kumagaya Rugby Stadium.

Sources: @FreemanrugbyJPN  & Kyodo news

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