Spears Funabashi Tokyo Bay may have dropped the name of the company that payrolls them, but the "Kubota Way" was a phrase repeated by head coach Frans Ludeke and two of his senior players, Springbok Malcolm Marx and Wallaby Bernard Foley, following their 24-18 Japan Rugby League One playoff win over Tokyo Sungoliath on Sunday.

"Our Kubota way created lots of opportunities today, and although we didn't finish them all off, it was a great learning," ahead of next week's final against Saitaima Wild Knights, said Ludeke.

That "Kubota Way" has evolved over the past four years and is based on the multi-national coaching crew and leadership group that the Spears have created.

Spears Funabashi Tokyo Bay players wave to fans in the stands after their League One semifinal win over Tokyo Sungoliath at Tokyo's Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground on May 14, 2023. (Kyodo)

South African Ludeke is assisted by New Zealander Alando Soakai and former Japan international Atsushi Tanabe, and along with Marx and Foley the other key members of the playing group are former All Black Ryan Crotty and captain Harumichi Tatekawa, who won 56 caps for the Brave Blossoms.

"We have encouraged everyone to contribute and taken all the styles played around the world and developed them into our own way," said Foley, who contributed 14 points in Sunday's win.

"We have won in different ways. We can grind out a win or we can score great tries. We have the best attack but can play big boy footy when we need to. And when our attack doesn't work, our defense keeps us in the game."

Ludeke agreed, saying he and his assistants have taken "bits and pieces and designed our own style, and that creates energy for the team."

His compatriot Marx paid tribute to Ludeke, Soakai and Tanabe, saying the style "comes from the coaches and gives us a different dynamic."

It is a style that has also handed the Spears an opportunity to win their first-ever piece of silverware.

Related coverage:

Rugby: Spears edge Sungoliath to reach League One final

Rugby: Koroibete's power, Matsuda's boot see Wild Knights into final

Rugby: Eagles, Verblitz win regular-season finales in Japan