Brave Sunwolves fall short against Waratahs

    2019-02-23 08:28

    Tokyo - Israel Folau made history Saturday as the Waratahs inflicted a nail-biting 31-30 defeat on the Sunwolves, who are fighting for their Super Rugby lives.

    The Wallabies star was a constant menace in Tokyo, scoring twice in the first half to finish a free-flowing game as Australia's highest try-scorer in the competition with a career total of 58 and counting.

    The Waratahs, semi-finalists last year and champions in 2014, survived a late scare to bounce back from a heart-breaking 20-19 loss to the Hurricanes in their opening game last weekend.

    The Sunwolves, thrashed 45-10 by the Sharks last week, took the lead with a breakaway try after eight minutes, Ryoto Nakamura teeing up Gerhard van den Heever to trundle over in the corner.

    The Sydney-siders hit back moments later through Kurtley Beale, but a Hayden Parker penalty restored the home side's advantage.

    A quickfire Folau double looked to have knocked the stuffing out of the Wolves, only for the Tokyo franchise to snatch a 20-17 halftime lead through another Parker three-pointer and a converted Tom Rowe try.

    Parker kept the pressure on with another penalty soon after the break, but Jack Dempsey crashed over and Bernard Foley kicked the extras as the visitors got their noses back in front again.

    The Waratahs added seven more points just after the hour mark through a penalty try that saw veteran Sunwolves lock Luke Thompson sent to the sin-bin.

    There was a further twist, however, as van den Heever spotted a gap to score his second try of the game and Parker's boot reduced the deficit to a single point with 10 minutes left.

    But Parker sliced a late drop goal attempt wide to ensure the Sunwolves, facing an uncertain future as Super Rugby bosses prepare to thrash out the competition's format in March, failed to register just their seventh win at the start of their fourth season.



    Tries: Gerhard van den Heever (2), Tom Rowe

    Conversions: Hayden Parker (3)

    Penalties: Parker (3)


    Tries: Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau (2), Jack Dempsey, penalty try

    Conversions: Bernard Foley (2)



    15 Jason Emery, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Shane Gates, 12 Ryoto Nakamura, 11 Semisi Masirewa, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Kaito Shigeno, 8 Rahboni Warren Vosayaco, 7 Ed Quirk, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Tom Rowe, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Craig Millar (captain)

    Substitutes: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Asaeli Ai Valu, 19 Awe Helu, 20 James Moore, 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Michael Little, 23 Rikiya Matsuda .


    15 Israel Folau, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Karmichael Hunt, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes

    Substitutes: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Rory O’Connor, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Lachlan Swinton, 20 Will Miller, 21 Mitch Short, 22 Mack Mason, 23 Adam Ashley-Cooper

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    Saturday, 23 March 2019
    • Hurricanes v Stormers, Westpac Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Crusaders, Sydney Cricket Ground 10:45
    • Sunwolves v Lions, Singapore National Stadium 12:55
    • Bulls v Chiefs, Loftus Versfeld 15:05
    • Sharks v Rebels, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 17:15
    Sunday, 24 March 2019
    • Reds v Brumbies, Suncorp Stadium 07:05
    Friday, 29 March 2019
    • Hurricanes v Crusaders, Westpac Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Sunwolves, McDonald Jones Stadium 10:45


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