The Stormers came back from an 11-point deficit to beat the Sunwolves 44-31 at the National Stadium in Singapore.
Derek Carpenter scored two tries to give the hosts an early lead but the Stormers mounted a second-half fightback to defeat a spirited home team, with late tries from Dewaldt Duvenage, Bongi Mbonambi and Bjorn Basson.
This was an end-to-end game of razzle-dazzle rugby by both teams; a first half which had five tries as the hosts led 24-20.
The Japanese side controlled most of the game but ran out of steam in the humid conditions as the visitors clawed their way back to a comfortable 13-point win.
Robert du Preez opened the scoring with an early penalty but the Sunwolves hit back. Jamie-Jerry Taulagi drew the defence and passed to Willem Britz who, with a wonderful dummy and inside pass, released Carpenter, who strolled in under the posts.
Rynhardt Elstadt was yellow carded before Jumpei Ogura’s conversion and penalty, put the Sunwolves 10-3 ahead.
EW Viljoen’s try and du Preez’s conversion tied the game at 10-all. The move started deep inside the Stormers’ 22. Seabelo Senatla got things going before passing to Dillyn Leyds who, made some metres and popped to Dewaldt Duvenage in support.
The scrummie gave an inside ball to JD Shickerling who passed to Du Preez.
The flyhalf shifted the ball to Chris van Zyl but the lock was tackled near the try-line and, from the ruck, the ball squirted out to Viljoen.
With a magic pick-up, he collected and crossed the white-wash for a sensational score.
However, this did not affect the home team as first Shoti Emi, them Liaki Moli gave their team a 24-10 lead.
The Sunwolves had a ruck under the posts, scrumhalf Keisuke Uchida passed to the right and Carpenter throws a no-look pass out the back door to the winger.
Emi took on the cover defence and dived over in the corner. Ogura slotted the touchline conversion.
Minutes later, Moli’s stunning try opened the visitors up. The Sunwolves were putting the Stormers to the sword. It started with a scrum.
The lock forward combined with his boiler room partner, Sam Wykes, who made the initial break in midfield, drew the defender and sent Moli away
He beat Siya Kolisi’s desperate cover tackle to score under the poles. Ogura couldn’t miss.
Then Elstadt, back on, scored. A pick-and-go by the visitors and, a dozen phases later and the flanker scored – the Stormers were starting to play old school South African rugby.
Du Preez reduced the deficit to four at the break with a conversion and penalty.
Inside the opening passages after the break, the Sunwolves hit back. They had a scrum inside their 10.
A break by Taulagi who, drew his man and, gave the supporting Kenki Fukuoka a pass, set up Carpenter for his second try. Ogura extended the margin to 11.
By now, the game was starting to get scrappy and the intensity from the Sunwolves had dropped dramatically as they tired in the east Asian humidity.
A couple of pick-and-drives ended with Wilco Louw dotting down and Du Preez adding two points.
The comeback was on and the Stormers smelled blood. Senatla’s initial break was continued by a marauding Du Preez run.
The flyhalf was tackled short of the line but, from the ruck, Duvenage burrowed over. Du Preez’s fourth conversion gave the visitors a three-point lead going into the last quarter.
Not even an Ollie Kebble yellow card could halt the Capetonians. Ogura had levelled the game at 34-all with a penalty but, in the last 10 minutes, the Stormers accelerated through the gears.
Kaito Shigeno did not help his tiring team when he went to the bin.
Mbonambi scored from close range before Basson collected a cheeky chip-kick from his flyhalf, on the buzzer, to earn his side a 13-point win and deny the hosts a losing bonus-point.
Final score is Sunwolves 31 (24) Stormers 44 (20)
Tries – Carpenter (2), Emi, Moli
Pen – Ogura
Con – Ogura (4)
Cards – Yellow (Shigeno, 77th minute)
Tries – Viljoen, Elstadt, Louw, Duvenage, Mbonambi, Basson
Pen – Du Preez (2)
Con – Du Preez (4)
Cards – Yellow (Elstadt, 7th minute), Yellow (Kebble, 66th minute)
Referee: Federico Anselmi
Assistant Ref 1: Shuhei Kubo
Assistant Ref 2: Akihisa Aso
TMO: Minoru Fuji
15 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi, 14 Shota Emi, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Jumpei Ogura, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Willem Britz, 7 Shokei Kin, 6 Ed Quirk (captain), 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Heiichiro Ito, 2 Yusuke Niwai, 1 Koki Yamamoto
Replacements: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Shumei Matsuhashi, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Hayden Cripps, 23 Ryohei Yamanaka
15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Siya Kolisi (captain), 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 JD Shickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen (debut), 18 Oli Kebble, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Cobus Wiese (Super Rugby debut), 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Dan du Plessis.
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