Rugby: All Blacks Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara shine in Japan Top League debuts

Beauden Barrett and TJ Perenara have made strong first impressions for their respective new sides in Japan's Top League.

Barrett ran in one of Suntory Sungoliath's 11 tries in a 75-7 rout of Mitsubishi Dynoboars, while his All Blacks teammate scored a pivotal five-pointer to seal a comeback win for NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes.

Although former Blues and Highlanders wing Tevita Li stole the show with a five-try haul for Suntory, Barrett conducted proceedings with trademark accuracy from first-five, kicking eight conversions to go with his try for a total of 21 points.

Perenara in action for NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes.
Perenara in action for NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes. Photo credit: Getty

Meanwhile, former Hurricanes teammate Perenara swung the momentum with his second-half try, helping to power his Red Hurricanes back from a 14-6 deficit to complete a 26-24 win over Keisuke Sawaki.

Both Perenara and Barrett will be available for selection for Ian Foster's All Blacks squad later this year, but will not feature in the upcoming Super Rugby season.

Elsewhere, Kobelco Steelers resumed life without Dan Carter with a 47-38 win over NEC Green Rockets to start their title defence, where former All Black Ben Smith was prominent in his debut.

Playing on the wing, Smith crossed for one of his team's tries in his first game since leaving French Pro-14 side Pau.

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