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Hurricanes fight-back blows Sunwolves away

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The Hurricanes came from behind to beat a spirited Sunwolves 23-29 at Prince Chichibu Stadium, Tokyo.

The Wellington side fought back from 23-10 down at halftime with a commanding second-half display under the Friday night lights in Tokyo.

TJ Perenara, Ben Lam, Chase Tiatia and Wes Goosen all scored as the New Zealanders clawed their way back into an entertaining contest.

Semisi Masirewa, who was as dangerous as ever, scored another brace, and Hayden Parker’s boot gave the home team a solid 13-point lead at the interval.

However, the Hurricanes upped the ante after the break, increasing the intensity as they ran in three tries.

Super Rugby Video Highlights: Sunwolves versus Hurricanes, Prince Chichibu Stadium, Tokyo, Round 10, 2019

John Plumtree’s men kept the home team scoreless for the final 50 minutes, restricting Tony Brown’s side to half chances with an immense defensive effort.

Defeat extends the Sunwolves’ dismal home record to five this season, and are yet to register a win on home soil.

Masirewa continues his good form

The Sunwolves started like a house on fire.

They pinned the visitors inside their half and punished some careless play, building a solid lead.

Rahboni Vosayaco, playing in the midfield, broke through some weak tackling to send Masirewa away for the game’s opening score.

Vosayaco collected the ball on halfway and weaved his way into the opposition’s 22 to set up the wing, who dotted down in the corner.

The tourists were without their star triumvirate of Beauden and Jordie Barrett as well as Ardie Savea.

Things did not go well, early on and it was clear to see how disjointed the Canes were without them.

Parker added a penalty before Perenara’s try halved the Sunwolves’ lead.

Fletcher Smith’s linebreak set up the score.

The home team’s forwards were slow to get back, and Perenara, spotting a gap took off and waltzed under the posts.

Another two Parker penalties extended his side’s slender advantage.

Masirewa was in for his second soon afterwards.

Vosayaco won a loose ball after a handling error by the visitors. The ball was recycled to Parker.

The flyhalf spotted the space in what Jon Gruden would describe as the “Turkey Hole” (the space on the sideline between two defenders, one in front of the attacker, the other next to the attacker).

The Hurricanes were short of numbers which allowed the Fijian flyer to gather and stroll in for the try.

Smith reduced the deficit with a long-range penalty after the Sunwolves gave away a penalty when all they had to do was slow play, down and run the clock out.

Hurricanes find the mojo after the break

Lam collected Ngani Laumape’s grubber and dotted down in the corner on 49 minutes.

It was almost a carbon copy of Masirewa’s second try.

The Canes attacked wide and Laumape, seeing the space behind the rushing winger and the covering fullback, stabbed a raking grubber into the said “Turkey hole” for Lam to latch onto and score.

The Canes had been threatening since the restart, and they finally had their reward.

Parker had a chance at another three, however, the usually metronomic kicker pushed his kick wide.

A mistake by Gerhard Van den Heever cost his side on the hour.

The winger took too long with a clearance kick and was charged down by Isaia Walker-Leawere for Tiatia’s try.

Smith slotted the sideline conversion to make it a one-point ball-game.

Sunwolves run out of gas

The Sunwolves tired in the final quarter. Their impatience and ill-discipline cost them.

They lost scrums and lineouts and were guilty of infringements at the breakdown as Wellington increased the pressure.

The Hurricanes won a scrum-penalty, but it is overturned for some foul play by Sam Henwood, and the referee reversed his call.

Parker kicked deep into the opposition’s half and set up an attacking lineout.

However, a miscue in the Japanese lineout started a counter-attack.

The ball was shifted to Goosen, who kicked in-field and gave chase.

The winger beat Ryohei Yamanaka to the bouncing ball and dotted down near the posts.

Smith added the extras, and the visitors led for the first time in the match.

It was a lead they would hold on to despite some late pressure by their hosts.

The Canes’ victory extends their unbeaten record against the Japanse side to three.

Final Score: Sunwolves 23 (23) Hurricanes 29 (10)

Scorers

Sunwolves
Tries – Masirewa (2)
Pen – Parker (3)
Con – Parker (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Hurricanes
Tries – Perenara, Lam, Tiatia, Goosen
Pen – Smith
Con – Smith (3)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 1: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 2: Shuhei Kubo
TMO: Minoru Fuji

Teams

Sunwolves: 15 Ryohei Yamanaka, 14 Gerhard Van den Heever, 13 Josh Timu, 12 Rahboni Vosayaco, 11 Semisi Masirewa, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Jamie Booth, 8 Hendrik Tui, 7 Dan Pryor (captain), 6 Ben Gunter, 5 Luke Thompson, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Nathan Vella, 1 Pauliasi Manu.

Replacements: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Tom Rowe, 20 Shuhei Matshuhashi, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Jason Emery, 23 Jamie Henry

Hurricanes

15 Chase Tiatia, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 Thomas Perenara (captain), 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Liam Mitchell, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Ben May, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Fraser Armstrong.

Replacements: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Sam Henwood, 21 Richard Judd, 22 James Marshall, 23 Billy Proctor

 

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