Super Rugby

Sharks beat Sunwolves in Singapore




Japan’s Sunwolves have played South Africa’s Sharks three times in Super Rugby and they have yet to beat the side from Durban.

Two of the three matches between these sides were played in Durban and the only other match was in Singapore which the Sharks won 17-38.

  • The Sharks have won each of their three games against the Sunwolves thus far by an average margin of 20 points per game.
  • The Sunwolves have won their last three games on the bounce at home, including come-from-behind victories against both the Stormers and Bulls in that time.
  • Each of the Sharks’ last eight fixtures has been won by the home team on the day, with the Durban squad picking up four wins and four losses in that time.
  • The Sunwovles successfully converted 89% of their kicks at goal into points last season, the best rate of any side in Super Rugby, with Hayden Parker landing 48/50 kicks for the Japanese outfit.
  • Jean-Luc du Preez (Sharks), who is out injured, made 31 offloads last season, the most of any player.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kickoff.

It is good to be back in Singapore for Super Rugby.

It is hot and humid, 31 degrees Celsius; something the South Africans will be used to coming from the tropical east coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

The Sunwolves have a new skipper, Craig Miller, who leads them out.

1.00: PEEEEP! The Miller won the coin toss and he has elected to kickoff. The Sunwolves are playing left to right.

2.00: Sharks clear, but give the ball away. Luckily for the visitors, Hayden Parker throws a forward pass on the first attack.

3.00: Makazole Mapimpi’s kick is carried back over the try line by Semisi Masirewa, giving the Sharks an attacking 5m scrum.

4.00: The Sunwolves give away a penalty, and they will take a shot at goal.

5.00: PENALTY! Robert du Preez puts the Sharks on the board. 0-3

7.00: Aphelele Fassi comfortably takes Parker’s bomb, setting up a series of attacks, but after nine phases, the Sharks give up a turnover. Scrum to the hosts.

9.00: TRY! The kick is only as good as the chase. The Sunwolves get a free kick, Parker chips deep behind the Sharks’ back line. The ball bounces kindly for the chasing Shane Gates, who gathers the ball and races away to score under the posts. 5-3

10.00: CONVERSION! Parker adds the extras. 7-3

12.00: Fassi is down after an accidental head collision with Phil Burleigh. The penalty for a prior infringement sees Du Preez kick to the opposition’s 22.

13.00: Parker sets Masirewa on the attack with a deft flick-pass. The winger breaks out of his half before putting a grubber into the Sharks’ 22. Fassi gets back to cover, taking the ball out.

14.00: The Sunwolves’ pack dominating the forward battle, winning a penalty. Parker calls for the tee.

15.00: PENALTY! Parker extends the lead. 10-3

16.00: The Sharks win a penalty, but they opt for a lineout inside the 22.

17.00: TRY! It was a great call; their lineout drive was superb, powering through the opposition to score. Akker van der Merwe gets up with the ball. 10-8

18.00: CONVERSION! Du Preez levels. 10-all

20.00: Summary: We’ve entered the second quarter of an entertaining and open game. The Sunwolves have looked to kick in behind the Sharks, testing their back three.

We know England would do it, so why not the Japanese? Parker is looking to get the ball wide, quickly, if not kicking.

The Sharks’ pack has looked good, scoring from their first driving maul, but they’ve been average in attack once they have gone past several phases.

23.00: The Sharks get a penalty; they kick to the corner, again. Watch for another big driving maul.

24.00: The Sunwolves sack the maul, win the turnover and Parker clears, to his 22. That was great from the hosts.

25.00: Jaba Bregvadze’s big tackle forces another knock on by the Sharks; the home team is winning the collisions and the Sunwolves are punishing them.

27.00: Another attack is botched by the Sharks. The Sunwolves go from deep inside their 22 to an attacking lineout inside the opposition’s 22. James Moore’s tackle on Fassi set up the penalty.

28.00: Masirewa bursts through the middle, but Hendrik Tui knocks on at the breakdown. Scrum to the South Africans. That is a small victory for the men in black, winning a lineout on the Sunwolves’ 10m.

31.00: That is poor by Van der Merwe, whose throw is not straight, therefore, gifting away hard-earned possession.

32.00: Another big scrum by the sharks, earns them another scrum-penalty. Tendai Mtawarira ‘beasted’ Asaeli Valu.  Sharks kick to the corner.

33.00: The Sharks have won another penalty for collapsing by Tui. The referee is talking to Miller about multiple infringements inside the ‘red zone’. Du Preez kicks to the corner.

34.00: TRY! After several surges at the try line, Daniel du Preez steps a defender and dives over for the score. Miller gets a talking to because if the try had not been scored, a Sunwolves’ player would be in the sin-bin. 10-15

35.00: CONVERSION! No problem for the flyhalf from there. 10-17

36.00: The Sharks’ forwards are starting to dominate.

37.00: TRY! Sub Nkosi finishes off a spectacular backline move from the Sharks. It came from a first – phase ball – a scrum in midfield, slightly to the left. 10-22

39.00: CONVERSION! Great kick by Du Preez from the sideline. 10-24

41.00: Parker boots a penalty deep into Sharks’ territory.

42.00: Superb work by the Sharks to win the opposition’s throw. Louis Schreuder kicks the ball out and that’s halftime.

The halftime score was Sunwolves 10 Sharks 24

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Singapore, where the Sharks put in a dominant second quarter display to take a deserved 14-point halftime lead, scoring twice in the last five minutes.

42.00: The Sharks cough up possession way too easily; the Sunwolves attack wide and are going through the phases.

43.00: Rene Ranger gathered Parkers pin-point grubber, setting up the attack. Lineout to Sunwolves, five metres out. Daniel du Preez is caught offsides. Parker kicks to the 5m.

44.00: Daniel du Preez makes amends, winning the penalty at the breakdown. However, the sharks take it quickly and Lukhanyo Am knocks on a straight forward pass. Somehow, the away team wins the ball back and mount another counter-attack.

45.00: BAD INJURY ALERT! Oh, dear, Ranger looks to have done his knee. The winger attempted a sidestep, but his right knee buckles and he goes to ground. That’s the end of his season. Damn. He is being stretchered off the field. Get well soon from

46.00: Sharks won a penalty before Ranger’s injury, so Du Preez kicks inside the home team’s 22.

47.00: TRY! It’s the FINISHER Mapimpi, taking Am’s deft pass to race away in the corner. Superb from the centre to draw Mapimpi’s man and offload before the hit. BOOM! 10-29

48.00: CONVERSION! Du Preez slots the touchline kick to make it four from four. 10-31

50.00: It’s another scrum-penalty against the hosts. The “Beast” is destroying Valu, who is subbed following a beasting, today.

52.00: Mr Nic Berry and his two assistants miss one of the most forward passes you will ever see. It sets up the Sunwolves with an attacking lineout inside the opposition’s 22.

53.00: It comes to nothing after a knock on by the team in red. A couple of scrum resets as Mtawarira licks his lips.

54.00: NO TRY! Masirewa walks in for a score after intercepting a stray pass. Good spot by Mr Berry… This time.

56.00: Another scrum-penalty, this time it’s Sam Prattley, the sub, who is pinged. It’s not the “beast”, this time, but Coenie Oosthuizen, who won the penalty.

58.00: A scuffle breaks out after half the Sunwolves are caught offsides near the breakdown. Linesman AJ Jacobs calls Nic Berry over because he’s seen an elbow from Awe Helu on Ruan Botha. The replay shows he missed. The Sharks opt for a scrum.

59.00: Prattley is pinged again. Not a good start for the loosehead.

60.00: Back-to-back scrum-penalties for the Sharks, this time it’s not Prattley, but the tighthead.

61.00: YELLOW CARD! The sharks decide to kick to touch, the maul is illegally collapsed by Moore and he is off for a 10-minute break. Sharks opt for another lineout.

62.00: Both teams are emptying the bench; it is standard these days, but it is hot out there.

64.00: I’ve lost count of the penalties the Sunwolves have given away. I’m not sure they have even touched the ball more than a few times since the interval.

65.00: TRY! Van der Merwe flops over the whitewash after a driving maul for his second It’s more of a surprise that the home team did not pull it down. 10-36

67.00: CONVERSION! Du Preez nails his fifth conversion. He’s putting on an exhibition, tonight. 10-38

69.00: NO TRY! We are checking with the TMO for a try for the Sunwolves, but the ball was lost forward by the hosts.

70.00: DEBUT! Big shout out to the GREAT Durban High School’s very own Phendulani Buthelezi, who comes off the bench for his Sharks debut. No doubt Mr Scott Mathie will be a very happy coach. 

71.00: TRY! It’s getting messy, here. Jeremy Ward is in for a five-pointer. 10-43

73.00: CONVERSION! Rhyno Smith takes over and adds the two. 10-45

76.00: The game is starting to get scrappy, but that can be expected at this stage and in this humidity.

79.00: Man of the MATCH! The Sharks are closing out the game. Super XV’s Man of the Match is Tendai Mtawarira for his dominant display in the scrum and tight phases.

80.00: That is the game. A very good display by the Sharks opens their Super Rugby campaign with a W.


In the meantime, why not have a look at the match preview.

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The final score is Sunwolves 10 (10) Sharks 45 (24)


Tries – Gates
Pen – Parker
Con – Parker
Drop –
Cards – MOORE (Yellow, 61st’)

Tries – Van der Merwe (2), D. du Preez, Nkosi, Mapimpi, Ward
Pen – R. du Preez
Con – R. du Preez (5), Smith
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 2: AJ Jacobs
TMO: Minoru Fuji



15 Gerhard van den Heever, 14 Semisi Masirewa, 13 Shane Gates, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Kaito Shigeno, 8 Rahboni Warren Vosayaco, 7 Ed Quirk, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 James Moore, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Asaeli Valu, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Craig Millar (c)

Replacements: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Hiroshi Yamashita, 19 Awe Helu, 20 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Michael Little


15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (c), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Hyron Andrews, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Phendulani Buthelezi, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Rhyno Smith, 23 Jeremy Ward

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