Super Rugby

Sharks thrash Sunwolves in Singapore



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The Sunwolves are back in Singapore this weekend where they will host South Africa’s Sharks after a three-match tour of New Zealand and Argentina.

The Sunwolves are at their second home for this match after their bye last week.

These two sides have only met once previously, the Sharks winning 40-29 in Durban, last year.

The conditions are pretty humid; the temperature is 31 degrees celsius, but both sides will be used to the heat. There is no wind to speak of and the pitch is dry, so expect an open, running game.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

1.00: BEEP! BEEP! The Sunwolves start with their usual, pre-planned, innovative, start to the game. They win the short grubber kick and go wide. The Sharks manage to win the ball back and clear.

4.00: TRY Lwazi Mvovo! The fullback finishes off a move that started inside his side’s 22. Garth April makes a break down the sideline and goes 30 metres. He sends the ball wide and the Sharks recycled at the breakdown, switch play and Mvovo goes over in the corner.

5.00: CONVERSION! April slots the touchline kick and the Sharks have an early seven-point lead.

7.00: The South African team has a big weight advantage in the scrum; a full 7kg more per man than their opponents.

9.00: Play has been held up with some medical attention to both teams. The Sharks have a scrum inside the Sunwolves’ 22.

14.00: The game is very stop-start, the handling could be better. Most of the match is taking place between the 22s with lots of tactical kicking.

18.00: TRY Takeshi Hino! The Sunwolves barge into the Sharks 22. Ryohei Yamanaka is tackled short, the Japanese clean out the ruck and Fumiaki Tanaka pops to Hino, who crashes through Ruan Botha. The referee consults the TMO, but it is an easy score.

19.00: The conversion is good and the scores are level.

23.00: TRY Ruan Botha! Scrum penalty for the Sharks in good kicking position, but they opt for touch. They secure the ball and look to maul, Botha crashes over for the try.

24.00: April adds the two points and the Sharks have their seven-point lead, again.

27.00: The Sharks are putting together some rolling mauls. The forwards are on the front foot and gaining momentum.

29.00: The Durban team has made 270 metres to 151 metres. Their gain-line success is 22 to 12. The Sunwolves are kicking too much, and not great too, just giving the ball back to the opposition.

33.00: The Sharks pin the Sunwolves back in their 22, with some good out-of-hand kicking. However, they are penalised at the breakdown.

34.00: TRY Sibusiso Nkosi! Fumiaki Tanaka took the penalty quickly, passed to Shuhei Matsuhashi, who drops the ball. Lukhanyo Am gathers the bouncing ball and offloads to the winger, who shrugs off a defender and runs away under the sticks.

35.00: CONVERSION! April extends the lead to 14 with an easy conversion.

38.00: BIG SCRUM! The Sharks win the set-piece penalty and kick to touch. The lineout is just over halfway.

40.00: BEEP! BEEP! The siren goes and Rohan Hoffmann calls time.

The half-time score was Sunwolves 7 Sharks 21

The visitors have enjoyed 62 percent possession and 57 percent territory and it has shown on the scoreboard.

The Sunwolves have had to make 62 tackles to the Sharks’ 38; they have missed 22 of those to 10. Another telling statistic is the seven line-break by the South Africans to one. Add those up, and you are in a world of pain.

41.00: We are back underway in Singapore. Garth April restarts the game with a deep kick. The two teams trade kicks as they search for territory. Cobus Reinach, eventually, finds touch.

44.00: The Sunwolves win a penalty on their try-line. They kick to touch, around halfway, and start an attack, but Kotaro Matsushima, is held up in the tackle and the Sharks get the scrum.

46.00: Penalty to the visitors after a double-team at the breakdown by Lukhanyo Am and Sibusiso Nkosi. April sends the ball into touch and the Sharks go to their driving maul.

47.00: The hosts stop the drive and win the scrum; excellent work by the Sunwolves’ pack.

52.00: TRY Shuhei Matsuhashi! What a great run by the flanker. He took the ball from his scrumhalf, on the angle, beat Lourens Adriaanse and, April, on the cover defence, could not stop him. Wow!

53.00: Tamura adds the two points.

55.00: The home team are turning on the magic now; spreading the ball wide and finding holes in the defence.

57.00: The Sunwolves go 20 phases, but lose the ball, it is kicked forward and the Sharks almost score. It’s end-to-end.

60.00: The Sharks lose the scrum and the Japanese clear.

62.00: Willem Britz breaks and offloads to Shota Emi. The winger goes down the field, is tackled, the ball, recycled, and the Sunwolves win the penalty at the ruck for not rolling away. Fumiaki Tanaka is subbed off; the No 9 has been immense.

64.00: PENALTY! Jumpei Ogura reduces the deficit to four.

67.00: The Sharks have a defensive lineout, five metres from their try-line. They lose the ball over the back and the opposition attack. The ball goes out near the 22.

69.00: Britz leaves the field and runs straight down the tunnel; he has been a colossus tonight.

72.00: The Sharks are turning on the heat; they go through a long, multi-phases set, but their hosts, close them out and will get the scrum feed.

74.00: Oh dear. Shota Emi can’t gather Jumpei Ogura’s cross-field kick and the Sharks have the scrum, inside the opposition’s half.

75.00; TRY Lwazi Mvovo! That’s a double for the fullback. He collected Etienne Oosthuizen’s back-door offload and barged through two defenders to give his side the game.

76.00: Miss! April can’t extend his team’s lead, but they are nine ahead as the clock ticks down.

78.00: TRY Nkosi has a double! Lukhanyo Am intercepts and sends the winger away. Game over. 

79.00: The conversion is good.

80.00: TRY! Hat-trick for Mvovo! The fullback races away for his third after some more good work by the forwards. He collected Jean-Luc du Preez’s offload and stormed his way to the tryline. 

81.00: MISS! The conversion is wide and the Sharks are victorious.


Live In-Play Betting.

The final score after 80 minutes is Sunwolves 17 (7) Sharks 38 (21)


Tries – Hino, Matsuhashi
Pen – Ogura
Con – Tamura (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Mvovo (3), Botha, Nkosi (2)
Pen –
Con – April (3), Janse van Rensburg
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann
Assistant Ref 1: Aki Aso
Assistant Ref 2: Tasuku Kawahara
TMO: Minoru Fuji



15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Shota Emi, 13 Ryohei Yamanaka, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Willem Britz, 7 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 6 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 5 Noahiro Kotaki, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Yasuo Yamaji, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki.

Replacements: 16 Takeshi Hino, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Hitoshi Ono, 20 Rahboni Warren Vosayaco, 21 Keisuka Uchidam 22 Jumpei Ogura, 23 Yasutaka Sasakura.


15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Sibusiso Nkosi, 10 Garth April, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt (captain), 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Mahlatse Ralepelle, 1 Thomas du Toit.

Replacement: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Lubabalo Mtembu, 21 Rowan Gouws, 22 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 23 Sibusiso Sithole

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