Former Wallaby Foley on song as Spears delivers playoff spot

Former Wallabies playmaker Bernard Foley scored two tries and picked up three penalties to lead Kubota Spears Funabashi Tokyo Bay to a 40-32 win over Kobelco Kobe Steelers on Saturday, securing their place in the league playoffs. League 1.

The Australian No.10 also had three conversions to score 25 points in an impressive performance against former All Blacks fly-half Aaron Cruden at Tokyo’s Edogawa Stadium.

The win secured a top-four berth for second-placed Spears, while third-placed Saitama Wild Knights also confirmed their place in the four-team championship playoffs by beating Yokohama Canon Eagles 33-24.

Bernard Foley (R) of Kubota Spears Funabashi Tokyo Bay runs on his way to score a try during the second half of a Japan Rugby League One match against Kobelco Kobe Steelers on April 23, 2022 at Edogawa Stadium in Tokyo. (Kyōdo) == Kyōdo

The Steelers were first on the board thanks to a seventh-minute try from Fraser Anderson, but the home side fought back shortly after, Finau Tupa stopping before Foley propelled them into the lead with his conversion.

Cruden’s 16th-minute try quickly put Kobe back in front, and they stayed ahead until Foley converted his own five-pointer in the 66th minute to level things at 29-29. Foley gave the Spears the lead for a good nine minutes later with his third penalty.

At Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, the Wild Knights extended their winning streak to 12 games after two second-half tries from Dylan Riley and one each from Marika Koroibete and Atsushi Sakate.

In the other game of the day, Toyota Verblitz came back to beat Shizuoka Blue Revs 18-15 at Ecopa Stadium.

Related coverage:

Rugby: a hat-trick from Tamanivalu allows Brave Lupus to beat Verblitz

Rugby: 10 Sungoliath tries to break sparkling arcs

Rugby: Defending champions Wild Knights inflict 1st loss on Sungoliath

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