Cape Town - A hat-trick from South African-born wing Marcel Brache helped the Western Force to a comfortable 40-22 Super Rugby win over the Sunwolves in Tokyo on Saturday.
Star wing Akihito Yamada had in fact opened the scoring for the Sunwolves, but once Brache struck for three tries in 20 minutes and flank Brynard Stander, another South African, had gone in for a fourth in the first half, it never looked like the hosts could snatch a win.
Tries have been a problem all season for the Force but they were in their element in Tokyo, finishing with six tries to their name as they secured just a second win of the year, and their first since defeating the Reds on March 5.
Local supporters might have been frustrated to see the Sunwolves miss out on securing their own second win in their debut season, but they were treated to a feast of tries.
A defensive masterpiece it certainly wasn't, however the Sunwolves deserve credit for the way they battled back from a huge deficit.
Yamada and Brache traded early scores before the Force wing doubled his tally after some fine work from Kyle Godwin, making a rare start this season for the Force in midfield, with Ian Prior converting to make it 14-5.
Soon after Brache had his hat-trick, Prior this time the provider as his fine pass picked out the wing to add try number three inside 20 minutes.
Building off that early momentum the Force soon make it four through Stander, the flanker finishing off a break from in-form fullback Dane Haylett-Petty as the Force advanced to lead 26-5 thanks to a third conversion from Prior.
Discipline cost the Sunwolves as they closed out the rest of the first half looking for a way back into a contest they were trailing 26-5 by the break.
The Force's intensity levels noticeably dropped off at the start of the second half, or at least appeared to after they conceded a couple of penalties, but try number five wasn't far away.
Their vital No 8, Ben McCalman, was the man to get it, with Junior Rasolea's burst through the defence followed up by some great work by Godwin before McCalman crossed the line.
At 33-5 the Sunwolves looked on course for a heavy thrashing but Tusi Pisi's try stemmed the tide and they never gave up, picking up their game in the final quarter.
Derek Carpenter's score from close range with ten minutes to go made it 33-15, with Yu Tamura like Pisi earlier unable to convert, before the Force took the wind out of the Sunwolves' sails with a long-range interception score for Angus Cottrell.
The Sunwolves though had the final say - Yamada grabbing his second try after good work from John Stewart, on debut, with an off-load as the Sunwolves not only grabbed their fourth try, but denied the Force a try bonus point as well in the process.
Tries: Akihito Yamada (2), Tusi Pisi, Derek Carpenter
Conversion: Yu Tamura
Tries: Marcel Brache (3), Brynard Stander, Ben McCalman, Angus Cottrell
Conversions: Ian Prior (4), Peter Grant
15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Derek Carpenter, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 John Stewart, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Kaito Shigeno, 8 Ed Quirk, 7 Andrew Durutalo, 6 Liaki Moli, 5 Faatiga Lemalu, 4 Hitoshi Ono, 3 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 2, Shota Horie (captain), 1 Masataka Mikami
Substitutes: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Ziun Gu, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Yoshiya Hosoda, 20 Taiyo Ando, 21 Atsushi Hiwasa, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Mifiposeti Paea
15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Junior Rasolea, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Luke Morohan, 10 Ian Prior, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Byrnard Stander, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Guy Millar, 2 Harry Scoble, 1 Francois van Wyk
Substitutes: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Steve Mafi, 20 Angus Cottrell, 21 Ryan Louwrens, 22 Peter Grant, 23 Semisi Masirewa