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.
"Gentlemen, if you want to see the World Cup going south yet again, you are going the right way about it," John Taylor looks at the state of European rugby
The Heineken Cup proved once again just why it is the best domestic rugby competition in the world at the weekend and Monday Maul picks out some of the key talking points
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with scantily clad ladies, O'Driscoll and snow all featuring
"If I miss the first kick of the match, it shouldn't have any impact on the second. They are different entities." Tom Hamilton talks to Northampton Saints' Stephen Myler