Sunwolves hit by massive Hurricane
SUPER RUGBY REPORT: An unbelievable display of offloading and attacking saw the Hurricane blow the Sunwolves to pieces in a massive 83-17 bonus-point victory in Tokyo.
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.
Late tries from Shokei Kin and Willie Britz barely papered over the cracks for the Tokyo-based franchise, 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 fullback with a brilliant pass for captain TJ Perenara to break the try line and an outrageous side-step to set up Ngani Laumape.
South African-born 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 half-time, 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 has given new coach Filo Tiatia very few positives to take away for the remainder of the campaign.
Man of the match: Willie Britz showed plenty of fight and grit throughout the encounter while some of the Sunwolves' replacements - Ryohei Yamanaka, Shokei Kin and Shota Emi - caught the eye late in the match. Any of the Hurricanes players can be candidates for the award though as their forwards set an excellent platform for TJ Perenara to work from. Otera Black controlled things nicely from the flyhalf position. The entire backline put their hands up when it was required and they used their physical dominance to good effect. Our award goes to Ardie Savea who was immense in the early stages and laid the foundation for the massive victory by grabbing two early tries, not to mention his work at the breakdowns and with ball-in-hand.
Tries: Viljoen, Kin, Britz
Tries: A Savea 2, Aso 2, Riccitelli, Perenara, J Savea, Laumape, Thomson, Fatialofa 2, Shields, Goosen
Cons: Black 9
Yellow card: Michael Fatialofa (Hurricanes; foul play - no arms tackle; 74)
Sunwolves: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Hikaru Tamura, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Willem Britz, 7 Edward Quirk, 6 Malgene Ilaua, 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Heiichiro Ito, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Masataka Mikami.
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Hino, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Kotaro Yatabe, 20 Shokei Kin, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Ryohei Yamanaka, 23 Shota Emi.
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Vince Aso, 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 Jeff To'omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Chris Eves.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ben May, 18 Mike Kainga, 19 Reed Prinsep, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Wes Goosen.
Referee: Egon Seconds (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Akihisa Aso (Japan)
TMO: Minoru Fuji (Japan)