Sunwolves claim maiden Super Rugby win

Super Rugby
Matt Lewis Profile
by AAP & Matt Lewis

Flyhalf Tusi Pisi engineered the Sunwolves first victory in Super Rugby on Saturday as the Japan-based side upset Argentina's Jaguares 36-28 in Tokyo.

The Samoa international kicked four penalties and three conversions and passed the ball beautifully to set up tries for centres Derek Carpenter and Harumichi Tatekawa.

Replacement fullback Yasutaka Sasakura also scored a try and Riaan Viljoen slotted a penalty for the Sunwolves, who never let the Jaguares, also in their first Super Rugby season, get too far in front while playing a highly expansive game.

Sunwolves winger Yasutaka Sasakura celebrates scoring with team mates (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images for SUNWOLVES)It was a remarkable turnaround at Prince Chichibu Stadium, given the Sunwolves had conceded 14 tries in a 92-17 thrashing by the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last week.

"To get this historic win in Japan is very special," Sunwolves Captain and Japanese International Shota Horie said.

"We had to try to forget what happened in our last game and put everything on the line today and luckily we did that."

The nature of that loss had many questioning the decision to expand the competition into Japan and Argentina, though the passion displayed by both sides indicated they had been stung by the criticism.

Jaguares captain Agustin Creevy, winger Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, replacement fullback Emiliano Boffelli and number eight Facundo Isa all scored tries for the visitors, who have spent all of April on the road.


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Flyhalf Juan Martin Hernandez failed to convert the first three tries but slotted two penalties and converted Isa's try.

The Jaguares had taken a 28-26 lead with 12 minutes remaining before Pisi slotted his fourth penalty three minutes later then popped a beautiful short ball to Tatekawa in the final minute to seal the win.

Before the match in Tokyo, both teams observed a minute's silence for the victims of last week's earthquakes in southern Japan.

"We were deeply sorry not to be able to bring the people of Kyushu any relief in our last game," said Horie.

"I would be very happy if this win can offer them some small hope at this difficult time."

The Sunwolves take on the Western Force next week at home, who also sit with just one victory in the 2016 season.