Hurricanes far too good against Sunwolves

    2017-02-25 08:00

    Tokyo - A rampant Hurricanes began the defence of their Super Rugby title by pulverising Japan's Sunwolves 83-17 on Saturday, scoring 13 tries in an embarrassingly lopsided game.

    As it happened: Sunwolves v Huriccanes

    Ardie Savea, Vince Aso and Michael Fatialofa all crashed over twice in the Tokyo sunshine as the visitors threatened to break a slew of records against a shambolic Sunwolves side looking to rebound from last year's baptism of fire.

    Flyhalf Otere Black added nine conversions.

    "It's a good start but it's a long season," said Hurricanes skipper TJ Perenara.

    "The boys played well for big periods. Towards the back end we were probably a little bit disappointed with how things finished but there are a lot of positives we can take from that game."

    Late tries from Shokei Kin and Willie Britz barely papered over the cracks for the Tokyo-based Sunwolves, who won just one of 15 games in their inaugural Super Rugby season.

    Savea's elder brother Julian produced arguably the moment of the match after 28 minutes when he ran coast-to-coast to score, living up to his nickname "The Bus" as he smashed through two tackles to race clear.

    Jordie Barrett, younger brother of All Black star Beauden, lit up an impressive Super Rugby debut at full-back with a brilliant pass for Perenara to break the try line and an outrageous side-step to set up Ngani Laumape.

    South African Riaan Viljoen finally got the Sunwolves on the scoreboard with six minutes left in the first half.

    But after taking a 45-5 lead into halftime, the Hurricanes continued to run riot as a Laumape lob pass allowed Blade Thomson to score moments after the interval.

    Within five minutes Fatialofa and Brad Shields added further tries and when substitute Wes Goosen capitalised on yet another Sunwolves error to make it 83-5 on the hour mark, the Hurricanes looked like racking up a century.

    Kin and Britz salvaged a measure of pride for the Sunwolves after a dreadful mismatch which will nevertheless have given new coach Filo Tiatia very few positives to take away for the remainder of the campaign.

    The Japanese expansion team were criticised after struggling mightily in 2016, with former Japan coach Eddie Jones - now in charge of England - slamming them as "embarrassing" after a 92-17 mauling by the Cheetahs.

    Their latest thrashing will increase pressure on the Sunwolves, especially amid suggestions teams could be axed by organisers SANZAAR, despite expanding the competition to 18 clubs last season.

    "It got a bit tough down our end," said Sunwolves captain Ed Quirk. "We showed true grit to score two tries at the end but we want to play that way from minute one to minute 80."


    Sunwolves - Tries: Riaan Viljoen, Shokei Kin, Willie Britz Conversion: Timothy Lafaele

    Hurricanes - Tries: Ardie Savea (2), Michael Fatialofa (2), Vince Aso, Ricky Riccitelli, TJ Perenara, Julian Savea, Ngani Laumape, Blade Thomson, Brad Shields, Vince Aso, Wes Goosen

    Conversions: Otere Black (9)



    15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Hikaru Tamura, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Edward Quirk, 6 Malgene Ilaua, 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Heiichiro Ito, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Masataka Mikami

    Substitutes: 16 Takeshi Hino, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Kotaro Yatabe, 20 Shokei Kin, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Ryohei Yamanaka, 23 Shota Emi


    15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Otere Black, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Jeffery To'omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Chris Eves

    Substitutes: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ben May, 18 Mike Kainga, 19 Reed Prinsep, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Vince Aso

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