VIDEO: Blues bounce back in Tokyo
VIDEO: Blues bounce back in TokyoSHARE
The four tries to one bonus-point triumph was only their second win of the season.
After a slow start, which saw the home team tale a 10-0 lead after the first quarter, the Blues finally got their act together.
For the next hour they dominated the game and the scoreboard – with the Ioane brother – Rieko and Akira – very prominent.
Demonstrating patience, the Blues confined their loss of last season in Tokyo to the rubbish bin of history.
Showing much more appreciation for retaining ball and building pressure through their more savvy tight forwards, the Blues did enough to claim a comfortable win which left the Sunwolves firmly at the bottom of the points table.
Lock Patrick Tuipulotu marked his 50th game for the Blues with a sin-binning for a no-arms tackle – which was also late.
The Sunwolves were all hustle and bustle and when home flyhalf Yo Tamura landed the penalty goal which seemed to lift them even higher.
Determined Blues defence was needed to restrain the momentum the Sunwolves unleashed and while they conceded no more points in Tuipulotu's absence, they were rocked at the end of the first quarter, after a strong midfield drive by lock Grant Hattingh and prop Craig Millar.
From their set-up work quick ball was produced and replacement centre Hayden Parker was able to wend his way through forward traffic on the blindside to create space on the left where centre Timothy Lafaele raced down the sideline for the opening try.
Lifting their tempo to where they felt more comfortable, the Blues had a better second quarter and some concerted work by the tight forwards set up a platform which resulted in ball being well used by Perofeta, who threw a long pass across the face of the home defence to find Hyland.
He showed impressive strength to beat tackles and get over for the Blues opening try.
On the 50-minute mark good build-up work by props Ofa Tu'ungafasi and Pauliasi Manu set up good ball and on the blindside. Fullback Michael Collins got a long ball to No.8 Akira Ioane, who wasted no time in beating two defenders as he applied the speed from his standing start. That pushed him clear and he had a straight run in for the try.
Five minutes later more power in setting up the breakdown provided more good ball and when newcomer at centre Orbyn Leger had set up a midfield ruck, more play saw flank Kara Pryor, who was again in the thick of the defensive action, threw a long pass for Papali'i who marked his arrival on the field with a powerful run which broke six tackles on his run to the goalline.
While Akira Ioane was denied a second try with seven minutes remaining, following useful ground gained as a result of Sunwolves indiscipline, a feature of the second half, they had reward moments later when more applied barging at the line by the big men saw the ball cleared for Rieko Ioane to fire another long ball for Hyland to run down the sideline for his second try.
For the Sunwolves:
For the Blues:
Tries: Hyland, A Ioane, Papali'i, Hyland
Cons: Perofeta 2
Yellow card: Patrick Tuipulotu (Blues, 2 – foul play, late shoulder charge)
Sunwolves: 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Semisi Masirewa, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Michael Little, 11 Lomano Lava, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Yutaka Nagare (captain), 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 James Moore, 3 Jiwon Koo, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Craig Millar.
Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Shintato Ishihara, 18 Nikoloz Khataishvili, 19 Wimpie van der Walt, 20 Willem Britz, 21 Fumaiki Tanaka, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 William Tupou.
Blues: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Jordan Hyland, 13 Orbyn Leger, 12 Rieko Ioane, 11 Matt Duffie, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Kara Pryor, 6 Jimmy Tupou, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ross Wright, 18 Mike Tamoaieta, 19 Ben Neenee, 20 Dalton Papali'i, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Thomas Faiane.
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Shuhei Kubo (Japan), Tasuku Kawahara (Japan)
TMO: Minoru Fuji (Japan)