Amanaki Lelei Mafi scored a hat-trick of tries for the second straight match as Yokohama Eagles shot down Green Rockets Tokatsu 36-12 in Saturday's Japan Rugby League One action.

With Springboks scrumhalf Faf de Klerk marshaling the hosts' attack, former Japan No. 8 Mafi helped them jump out to a 14-0 lead by crossing twice in the first five minutes at Nippatsu Mitsuzawa Stadium.

Tries from Kanta Omata and Nick Phipps brought Tokatsu back into the contest, but Mafi reclaimed the momentum with his third five-pointer, in the 37th minute, giving Yokohama a 19-12 halftime lead.

Takato Okabe and Naoya Minamihashi went over in the second half, with Yu Tamura nailing his third conversion to put Eagles ahead 31-12 before de Klerk darted across for his maiden League One try on the stroke of full time.

Gerhard van den Heever (R) scores a try for Spears Funabashi Tokyo Bay in the second half of a Japan Rugby League One match against Kobe Steelers at Edogawa Stadium in Tokyo on Jan. 21, 2023. (Kyodo)

"We wanted to play to our strengths and exploit their weaknesses, and I think we achieved that," said Mafi, who earned player of the match honors for the second week in a row. "I'm a bit tired now, but I'll keep trying my best."

Yokohama can expect a sterner test on the road next Saturday against defending champions Saitama Wild Knights, who stayed unbeaten at the top of the standings with a 38-17 win against Black Rams Tokyo.

In Saturday's other clash, Spears Funabashi Tokyo Bay held off Kobe Steelers 25-21, with 10 of their points coming from the boot of Wallabies playmaker Bernard Foley.

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