South Africa lock Lood de Jager scored two of Saitama Wild Knights' seven tries in a 45-19 win Saturday over Shizuoka BlueRevs that kept them unbeaten at the top of the Japan Rugby League One first division.

Rikiya Matsuda of Saitama Wild Knights is pictured during a Japan Rugby League One game against Shizuoka BlueRevs at Yamaha Stadium in Iwata, Shizuoka Prefecture, on March 2, 2024. (Kyodo)

In a wide-open unstructured game, the Wild Knights tried to swing the ball from one side of the pitch to the other, when a Rikiya Matsuda offload went instead to Malo Tuitama, who scored his second try to give BlueRevs a 12-7 15th-minute lead at Yamaha Stadium.

De Jager erased the deficit with his first try, 11 minutes later as it became clear that the hosts could neither keep up with the Wild Knights at the breakdown nor tackle well enough in space.

Taiki Koyama's 32nd-minute try put the Wild Knights in front for good, and Dylan Riley's score four minutes later allowed the visitors to go into the changing rooms with a 26-12 lead.

De Jager completed his brace in the 60th minute with Matsuda's conversion making it 38-19 in favor of the visitors before substitute hooker Atsushi Sakate put the icing on the cake by scoring from a maul.

Saitama Wild Knights' Shota Horie tries to get past Shizuoka BlueRevs' Yuki Yatomi in their Japan Rugby League One Division 1 game at Yamaha Stadium in Iwata, Shizuoka Prefecture, on March 2, 2024. (Kyodo)

The Wild Knights lead the division with 38 points from eight games, with undefeated Brave Lupus Tokyo one-point back after their 50-32 win over Hanazono Liners. Tokyo Sungoliath are third on 29 points after Kosuke Horikoshi scored a hat-trick of tries in a 62-0 whipping of Black Rams Tokyo.

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