Sonny Bill tastes defeat on debut in Japan
September 9, 2012
The Wild Knights' Sonny Bill Williams stretches the Shining Arcs' defence in Hokkaido © Getty Images
High-profile recruit Sonny Bill Williams was unable to inspire the Wild Knights to victory in his first appearance since joining the Japanese Top League club.
The All Blacks international, who recently moved to Japan to take up a lucrative short-term contract before a move back to Australian rugby league next year, played the full 80 minutes at the Tsukisamu Rugby Stadium in Sapporo, Hokkaido but was unable to prevent his side from slipping to a narrow 25-22 defeat.
The Wild Knights, who have reportedly paid £750,000 to acquire Williams' services for 12 games, took control of the contest in the first half with a try from hooker Tetsuya Shitara shortly after the break cementing their advantage.
But the Shining Arcs fought back with tries from Yoshio Kimishima, Samoa international Alesana Tuilagi and Hiraku Tomoigawa. Kimishima also notched two conversions and two penalties to finish with a personal tally of 15 points that carried his side to their first win of the campaign.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
It was another bumper year of rugby action in 2014; join us as we take a look back at some of the season's top statistics
Salary caps, Saints, sinners and scrums - Monday Maul looks back at the key talking points from an eventful weekend
The latest Week in Pictures takes in a fiery East Midlands derby and all the action from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14