The Japan News Teikyo survived a first-half scare to extend its record collegiate title streak to nine, beating Meiji 21-20 in the final of the Japan University Championship in Tokyo on Sunday.
Appearing in its first final since the 1998-99 season, Meiji overwhelmed the champions in the first half, scoring three tries and a conversion to enter halftime at 17-7.
The crowd at Chichibunomiya Stadium sensed an upset when Meiji kicker Kohei Horigome nailed a penalty goal in the 45th minute to extend the lead to 20-7. However, Teikyo bounced back to score two tries, and Koki Takeyama’s third conversion of the day gave the team a 21-20 lead in the 62nd minute.
Teikyo held off Meiji’s offense for about 20 minutes until the final whistle, winning its ninth straight title. Meiji last won a title in the 1996-97 season.