Inaugural Japan Rugby League One champions Saitama Wild Knights will defend their crown next week following a 51-20 semifinal win over Yokohama Eagles on Saturday.
A second-half hat-trick of tries from explosive Wallabies winger Marika Koroibete at Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground saw the Wild Knights rebound from a first-half 17-15 deficit and book their place in the final, where they will play either Tokyo Sungoliath or Spears Funabashi Tokyo Bay, who face each other at the same ground on Sunday.
Robbie Deans' team has lost just once in the two-year history of the tournament, and much of that success has been down to the accurate right boot of Rikiya Matsuda. And the fly-half was again to the fore, kicking five penalties, three conversions and a drop goal.
"It was always going to be very physical," said Deans.
"(The Eagles) put us under a lot of pressure and disrupted our flow in the first half. But the team worked their way through it and showed good composure."
"We took the points to stay in the game, and a couple of adjustments at halftime opened up the game for us."
On a damp day in the nation's capital, the Eagles' pack laid the platform in the first half to allow Sione Halasili and Inoke Burua to score tries as Yokohama led at the break, despite their indiscipline.
But the two-point lead was never really going to be enough against a side that is renowned for its second-half exploits.
Koroibete's first two tries and Dylan Riley's five-pointer in the 57th minute saw the Wild Knights go up 36-20, and a red card 10 minutes later to Rugby World Cup winner Jesse Kriel effectively ended any chance of an Eagles fightback.
Koroibete made the most of the one-man advantage and duly completed his hat-trick before veteran Shota Horie's try, converted by Takuya Yamasawa brought up the half-century.