Super Rugby

Sunwolves make history with shock Chiefs victory




Japan’s Sunwolves shocked two-time Super rugby champions the Chiefs 15-30 to earn their first ever victory on New Zealand soil and their first ever away win.

The result means that the Chiefs will remain at the bottom of the Super rugby standings in last place after three straight losses this season.

It is a case of third time lucky this season for the Sunwolves who move provisionally up to 11th place in the standings after outscoring the Chiefs who were crowned champions in 2012 and 2013 by three tries to two in the match and led throughout the match.

The Chiefs problems started with the very first kick of the ball as Damien McKenzie’s kick off went into touch which gave the Sunwolves an attacking scrum on the half way line.

An explosive start by Shuhei Matsuhashi opened the Sunwolves account after 1 minute and 43 seconds which had come from the visiting side winning the opening scrum.

Hayden Parker added the conversion to give the visiting side a 7 point lead after just three minutes.

In the fifth minute Parker added a penalty goal which meant the Chiefs were trailing by 10 points.

The Chiefs first and only first half points came through Damien McKenzie’s boot in the 22nd minute. Three minutes later Parker slotted a second penalty goal to extend the Sunwolves points buffer again.

Just after the half an hour mark the Sunwolves powered Uwe Helu over the tryline next to posts and although it initially looked like he had been held up the match official Federico Anselmi thought he could have scored so went to the TMO who agreed that the try had been scored.

Parker again added the conversion which took the score to 3-23 and was the last time the scoreboard changed in the opening half.

After the break it was the Chiefs who came out firing and looked desperate to put their poor first half performance behind them.

They were the first to score when Alex Nankivell went over and Damian McKenzie’s conversion put the home side into double figures.

However the Sunwolves absorbed the Chiefs momentum and after missing out in some messy play from both sides Gerhard van den Heever scored for the Japanese side.

Parker – who has been deadly with the boot this season – slotted the conversion which gave the Sunwolves a 20 point lead.

Discipline started to cost the Sunwolves and after several penalties Etene Nanai-Seturo closed the gap a little with a try in the corner.

The Sunwolves kept their heads though and the pressure of facing a third straight loss weighed heavily on the Chiefs which helped the tourists hold on for a famous victory.

Next week the Chiefs play the Crusaders in Christchurch while the Sunwolves travel to Albany to face the Blues who will be coming off a trip to South Africa and Argentina.

Final Score Chiefs 15(3) Sunwolves 30(23)


Tries -A.Nankivell, E.Nanai-Seturo
Pen -D.McKenzie
Con – D.McKenzie
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – S.Matsuhashi, U.Helu, G.van den Heever
Pen – S.Parker 3
Con – H.Parker 3
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Federico Anselmi
Assistant Ref 1: Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 2: Dan Waenga
TMO :Shane McDermott



15 Shaun Stevenson, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Tumua Manu, 12 Orbyn Leger, 11 Etene Nanai-Seturo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Taleni Seu, 7 Mitchell Karpik, 6 Mitchell Brown, 5 Michael Allardice, 4 Brodie Retallick (captain), 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Aidan Ross

Replacements : 16 Bradley Slater, 17 Tevita Mafileo, 18 Sefo Kautai, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Lachlan Boshier, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Alex Nankivell, 23 Ataata Moeakiola


15 Jason Emery, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Shane Gates, 12 Michael Little, 11 Jamie Henry, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Kaito Shigeno, 8 Rahboni Warren Vosayaco, 7 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Atsushi Sakate, 1 Pauliasi Manu

Replacements : 16 Nathan Vella, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Asaeli Ai Valu, 19 Tom Rowe, 20 James Moore, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Phil Burleigh, 23 Rikiya Matsuda

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