AP – Former Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has guided Japanese club Panasonic Wild Knights to a third straight Top League crown.
South African Francois Steyn missed a post-siren conversion attempt, giving the Wild Knights a historic 27-26 victory over his Toshiba Brave Lupus on Sunday.
Shohei Toyoshima’s try 90 seconds after the final hooter gave Toshiba hope of their sixth title but Steyn sent the conversion right of the posts.
The miss triggered celebrations in the rival camp which included Australian players Ben McCalman and Berrick Barnes.
“What can you say? What a great conclusion to a great season of rugby in Japan,” Deans told Kyodo news agency at Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground.
“That had everything that makes the game what it is. A good contest up front. A tough contest at the breakdown and both teams risking their hand.
“Obviously the emotion would be very different if the kick had been successful at the death, but looking at the weight of the season and the weight of the encounter we probably warranted the outcome.”
Deans parted ways with the Wallabies in 2013, joining the Wild Knights a year later and has been linked with several international coaching jobs since.
He is the first coach in the Top League to win silverware three years in a row.