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
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.
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.
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.
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
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