15:53 25 February 2017
Rugby: Sunwolves put to the sword in Super Rugby opener
TOKYO, Feb. 25, Kyodo
The Sunwolves began their second Super Rugby season much as they ended their first, being run off the park as the reigning champion Hurricanes took an 83-17 win in Tokyo on Saturday.
Filo Tiatia's squad were simply blown away out of the gate with the Wellington-based team running up a 24-0 lead after 15 minutes at Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground and only stretching their legs further to end the first stanza scoring more than a point a minute.
The Hurricanes ended the match with 13 tries, just one away from the Super Rugby record. Three players -- Vince Aso, Michael Fatialofa and Ardie Savea -- scored twice and another seven players added tries of their own.
Riaan Viljoen opened the Sunwolves' account for the season in the 33rd minute to bring his team into the match, and in the second half Shokei Kin (69th) and Willie Britz (77th) crossed once each to bring a semblance of respectability to the score.
Sunwolves captain Ed Quirk said that despite the one-sided score, there are some positives the team can take from their performance.
"It got a bit tough down our end sometimes, but it is not about how you start, it is about how you finish and true credit to the boys, they showed true grit," said the Australian who is in his second season in Tokyo.
"(We showed) great composure (to score) two tries there at the end. That's how we want to play, but we want to play that way from minute one to minute 80."
"Credit to our boys, a lot of young guys, 13 new players debuted for us today. So all credit to them," he said.
Hurricanes captain TJ Perenara was satisfied with his team's performance, but still saw room for improvement.
"The boys played well for a big period of that game, towards the back end we were probably a little bit disappointed with how things finished but there are a lot of learnings we can take from that game, a lot of positives."