The Sunwolves thrashed the Reds 63-28 and earned their first victory over Australian opposition in Super Rugby at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo.
The Sunwolves did it in style, putting on a scintillating display of attacking rugby as they racked up their most points ever in a Super Rugby match.
Hayden Parker put the boot into the Reds with an exhibition in kicking from the tee.
The flyhalf, with shades of Morne Steyn and Gavin Lawless, kicked 12 from 12 as well as finishing off a sensational play for his side’s second try for a match-haul of 36 points.
Hosea Saumaki scored a 27-minute second-half hat-trick as the Sunwolves sauntered past 60 points.
Brad Thorn will be having nightmares after his team wilted in the Japanese sunshine.
The Australians fell off tackles and could not string any meaningful phases together, except for Angus Scott-Young’s inconsequential 66th-minute try when the game was already lost.
By then, the home crowd were already dancing in the stands and celebrating a historic routing of the Reds.
Reds driving maul and Parker’s boot dominated the opening exchanges.
The opening quarter was a series of penalty goals by Parker and two powerful well-executed driving mauls which the Sunwolves could not stop.
Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Ben Lucas both crossed after the Reds’ pack bulldozed their opponents, giving the visitors a 9-14 lead.
Parker added his fourth penalty to reduce the deficit to two just before the half-hour.
His kick would begin a string of 33 unanswered points for the Sunwolves.
The game turned after another wonderful attack by the home team resulted in Grant Hattingh, combining with Craig Miller, getting the hosts first try.
Hattingh put the prop in the gap with a flat pass and Millar broke the Reds defensive line with a wonderful run.
The big prop-forward re-played the supporting Hattingh, who carried Hamish Stewart and Chris Feauai-Sautia over the whitewash with him.
Parker was soon over after finishing off a stunning attacking move.
Fukuoka started the play after gathering a grubber-kick.
Yutaka Nagare played a long skip-pass to Kazuki Himeno after some quick ball.
The No 8 bounced a defender and played Hattingh, who offloaded to Michael Little.
Little skipped past two defenders and produced a wonderful wrap-around offload to his flyhalf, who raced in untouched for the score.
Another penalty goal from the Parker extended his side’s lead to 15 before halftime.
Sunwolves put their foot down as the Reds implode.
The away team could not get their hands on the ball. when they did, they kicked for territory, gifting possession back to the Sunwolves.
They needed no second invitation and proceeded to run the ball from every part of the field.
Parker hit an early three points straight after the interval.
The Sunwolves’ scrum and lineout were solid and they won a Reds’ throw inside their 22.
The Reds could not finish a promising attack and minutes’ later, Saumaki was over for his first try of the afternoon.
The forwards and backs combined with some deft passing near the touchline before the winger broke blind and raced away to score.
It was only three tries to two for the hosts, but Parker’s boot was the difference.
Any opportunity for a shot at goal and the Sunwolves accepted the chance to increase their lead incrementally.
The first-five eight, using the wind expertly, slotted his ninth kick to push the score to 42-14
The Reds hit back when Scott-Young crossed after his side went 23 phases.
The Queensland forwards was camped on the Sunwolves’ try-line, battering away at the desperate defence.
The home team could not hold on, eventually succumbing to the pressure.
Mistakes prove costly.
At 42-21, the Reds had hope, maybe a fool’s hope, but hope nonetheless.
They botched a two-on-one which would probably have resulted in a try.
Jason Emery intercepted and raced away for the try-line.
He was, however, hit high by Duncan Paia’aua near the try-line.
Referee Egon Seconds conferred with the TMO and Paia’aua was sent to the sin-bin.
It was a double blow to the Reds because the high-tackle also resulted in a penalty try.
Filipo Daugunu finished off a counter-attack from inside his own 22. The winger ran 75 metres and scored under the posts.
The Sunwolves had opted for a shot at goal with every kickable penalty.
With the game won and fifty points at their mercy, they finally kicked to the corner instead of bringing up the half-century.
Their decision was vindicated when Saumaki crashed over for his second with less than two minutes remaining.
The horror show was not over for Thorn’s men.
The Sunwolves ran the ball from their half, going through the phases before the winger crashed over in the same corner for his treble.
Final score: Sunwolves 63 (29) Reds 28 (14)
Tries – Hattingh, Parker, Saumaki (3), Penalty try
Pen – Parker (7)
Con – Parker (5)
Tries – Paenga-Amosa, Lucas, Scott-Young, Daugunu
Con – Lance (4)
Cards – Paia’aua (Yellow, 69′)
Referee: Egon Seconds
Assistant Ref 1: Akihisa Aso
Assistant Ref 2: Tasuku Kawara
TMO: Minoru Fuji
15 Semisi Masirewa, 14 Kenki Fukuoka, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Michael Little, 11 Hosea Saumaki, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Yutaka Nagare (captain), 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Edward Quirk, 6 Michael Leitch, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Wimpie van der Walt, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Craig Millar.
Replacements: 16 Yusuke Niwai, 17 Shintaro Ishihara, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Jason Emery.
15 Hamish Stewart, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Jordan Petaia, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Angus Scott-Young, 7 George Smith, 6 Adam Korczyk, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Sef Fa’agase, 19 Harry Hockings, 20 Liam Wright, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Duncan Paia’aua, 23 Aidan Toua.