Sunwolves put 60 on Reds
THE pumped-up Sunwolves have won their first Super Rugby match of the season and delivered a huge blow to the Queensland Reds with a 63-28 hammering in Tokyo.
Kiwi-born five-eighth Hayden Parker did much of the damage for the Sunwolves, scoring 24 of their 29 first-half points at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, but the Reds did themselves no favours.
Through lazy play, they handed sharp-shooter Parker five opportunities to kick penalty goals in the opening 40 minutes and he finished with a team record personal tally of 36 points including 12 goals from 12 attempts.
Sunwolves winger Hosea Saumaki also had a day out, finishing with a hat-trick of tries.
The Reds' attack also lacked creativity, unable to capitalise on dominant field position and possession, while their kicking game was below par as well.
After upsetting South African heavyweights the Lions in their last match, the Reds fancied their chances but became the first Australian team to lose to the Sunwolves.
Sitting third in the Australian conference, The Reds blew a golden chance to make up ground on the NSW Waratahs and Melbourne Rebels.
While Parker opened with a penalty in the first minute of the game, the Reds scored the first try when aspiring Wallaby hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa planted the ball at the back of their rolling maul.
Halfback Ben Lucas darted from the back of a maul to plant the ball across the line in the 21st minute and Reds were out to 14-9 lead.
But penalties kept the home side in touch before lock Grant Hattingh scored with an obvious forward pass, which was overlooked by the TMO.
Three minutes later, Parker crossed after a superb team try, which he converted for a 26-14 scoreline, and momentum was with the Sunwolves.
The Reds tried to rally in the second half with their reserves lifting the tempo.
However, any small chance of a comeback was snuffed out in the 69th minute when the Sunwolves were awarded a penalty try and was Duncan Paia'aua yellow-carded for a high tackle as he tried to bring down Jason Emery.
SUNWOLVES 63 (1 penalty try) (Hosea Saumaki 3, Grant Hattingh, Hayden Parker tries Parker 5 cons 7 pens) QUEENSLAND REDS 28 (Filipo Daugunu, Ben Lucas, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Angus Scott-Young tries Jono Lance 4 cons) at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium. Referee: Egon Seconds