South Africa’s Southern Kings ended a four match losing streak in Super Rugby by beating Japan’s Sunwolves 23-37 in Singapore.
The Southern Kings outscored the Sunwolves by four tries to three so neither of the sides earn a bonus point from the match.
The Kings got themselves on the scoreboard in the second minute when Lionel Cronje kicked the first of three penalties in the match.
Sunwolves pivot Hayden Cripps had the opportunity three minutes later to level the scores but he missed with his attempt.
The Kings scored the opening try of the match shortly before the quarter hour mark with a demonstration of speed by Malcolm Jaer and Rudi van Rooyen with the latter crossing the whitewash.
Cronje added the conversion as he did throughout the match and was flawless with his place kicking.
Moments later the Sunwolves looked to be on their way to scoring a try of their own only for them to be tackled into touch.
However with the next move in the match Timothy Lafaele scored the first of the Japanese side’s three tries.
Replacement Chris Cloete was the next to score a try and the conversion put the Kings 7-17 ahead at half time.
After half time the teams exchanged penalty kicks but the more reliable Cronje took the Kings to 13 points ahead and Cripps pulled them back to a ten point lead.
Ruaan Lerm was at the back of a Kings rolling maul try with qaurter of an hour remaining and Cronje’s conversion put the visitors into a comfortable 17 point lead.
In the final minutes – and when the Kings had the match won – the game opened up as the Sunwolves scored tries by Kenki Fukuoka and Takaaki Nakazuru but Malcolm Jaer’s try in between ensured the Kings lead always had a comfortable buffer.
Next week in Round three the Sunwolves travel to Bloemfontein to play the Cheetahs while the Kings host the Stormers in Port Elizabeth.
Final Score Sunwolves 23 (7) Southern Kings 37 (17)
Tries – T.Lafaele, K.Fukuoka, T. Nakazuru
Pen – H.Cripps 2
Tries – R.van Rooyen, C.Cloete, R.Lerm, M.Jaer
Pen -L.Cronje 3
Con -L.Cronje 4
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 1:Egon Seconds
Assistant Ref 2:Akihisa Aso
TMO :Minoru Fuji
15 Shota Emi, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Hayden Cripps, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Shokei Kin, 6 Ed Quirk, 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 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Will Tupou, 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi
15. Masixole Banda, 14. Makazole Mapimpi, 13. Berton Klaasen, 12. Waylon Murray, 11. Malcolm Jaer, 10. Lionel Cronje, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Ruaan Lerm, 7. Stefan Willemse, 6. Andisa Ntsila, 5. Mzwanele Zito, 4. Tyler Paul, 3. Ross Geldenhuys, 2. Michael Willemse, 1. Schalk Ferreira (capt)
Replacements: 16. Kurt Haupt, 17. Schalk van der Merwe, 18. Justin Forwood, 19. Thembelani Bholi, 20. Chris Cloete, 21. Rudi van Rooyen, 22. Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 23. Luzuko Vulindlu.