Round 9 Report
Jubilo Yamaha met with Kubota Spears at the Expo ’70 Commemorative Stadium in Osaka for their Round 9 union. A strong typhoon brought heavy rain to the game, reminiscent of the season’s opening round.
Kubota kicked off the union. Despite the downpour, both teams did their best in attempts to make use of kicks in the challenging conditions. However, it was Kubota that scored first with a successful try from a line-out at 9 minutes of the first half. Yamaha’s Duke Krishnan went after Ayumu Goromaru’s high punt, inviting Kubota’s knock-on. Play restarted with a scrum with Yamaha’s possession. As Yamaha forwards maneuvered near the concentrated area of scrimmage, the ball was passed to their backs, leading to Goromaru’s spectacular run for a try. Goromaru himself made a successful conversion, giving Yamaha the lead at 7-5.
With the wind at their backs in the second half, Yamaha used kicks effectively to maintain ball possession allowing Hayato Nishiuchi to run straight toward their goal for another try, resulting in a 14-5 score with Yamaha in the lead. As the rain became heavier, a line-out from a Yamaha ball led the team closer to Kubota’s touchline. Then Uwe Helu, who came into the game at the midway point, broke through the crowd and made a try. With yet another successful Goromaru conversion, Yamaha extended its lead to 21-5. But Kubota did not back down and repeatedly attacked with its powerful offense. Yamaha managed to keep the opponent’s offense in check and, at 35 minutes, Krishnan received the ball from Viliami Tahitua and sprinted along the touchline, which led to Yuki Yatomi’s try. Then at 39 minutes, a line-out quickly brought the ball to the backs, which led to co-captain Masatoshi Miyazawa’s try right in the middle between the goal posts. This was the first try of this season by the co-captain who also came into the game at the midway point. The union concluded with a conversion by Goromaru, who recorded his 6th union this season with a 100% success rate. The final score was 35 – 5 in Yamaha’s favor．
Expressing his expectation for his team’s growth, Head Coach Katsuyuki Kiyomiya said, “This team has begun to find its style of play through the previous 9 rounds. I would like to see Yamaha’s style of play polished and fine-tuned further” as he looked ahead toward Yamaha’s 4 December unions and even into the play-offs. Captain Kyosuke Horie commented, “We still have not demonstrated 100% of our potential in a union” and expressed his determination to win each of the remaining rounds in the season.