Quade Cooper off to winless start in Japan Rugby League One 2022

Wallabies star Quade Cooper and the Hanazono Kintetsu Liners failed to get their 2022 Japan Rugby League One campaign off to a victorious start after they were beaten by the Sagamihara Mitsubishi Dynaboars on Monday.

In the final match of the new competition’s opening round, Kintetsu were outplayed by Mitsubishi in a 25-14 defeat at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium in Tokyo.

This was in spite of the fact the Liners boasted an all-star halves combo comprised of Cooper and his long-time teammate Will Genia, although the Dynaboars weren’t short of firepower themselves.

The hosts had two-time World Cup-winning All Blacks first-five Colin Slade starting at No 10, as well as ex-All Blacks lock Jackson Hemopo on the bench.

That pair headlined a slew of familiar Kiwi faces in the Dynaboars match day squad, including former North Harbour midfielders Matt Vaega and Michael Little, as well as ex-Otago No 8 Dylan Nel, who was named to make his Mitsubishi debut.

However, it was a little-known New Zealander in the form of Ben Paltridge who got the match off to a flyer when he scored an early contender for try of the season with an acrobatic dive to dot down in the right-hand corner after just two minutes.

That was one of two tries scored by Paltridge, the 29-year-old wing making his Mitsubishi debut after having previously played for the Kurita Water Gush.