The Sunwolves overturned a nine-point deficit to beat the Top League All Stars XV 24-12 in a Super Rugby warm-up fixture on Saturday.
The fixture, billed as the ‘Dream Match’ between the best players from the Japanese Top League and the strongest available Sunwolves squad, turned into a dull, error-filled contest in Kitakyushu.
Discarded by the Sunwolves, winger Akihito Yamada crossed for the first try of the game to hand the All Stars a 5-3 lead before Andre Taylor’s converted try extended their advantage to 12-3. But the Sunwolves launched a comeback which led to two quick tries and a 17-12 lead at the break.
Both sides made a host of substitutions at the start of the second half, but the only score came in the 75th minute when scrumhalf Fumiaki Tanaka breached the All Stars defence to seal the win for the Sunwolves.
Sunwolves – Tries: Timothy Lafaele, Ed Quirk, Fumiaki Tanaka. Conversion: Hayden Cripps (2), Lafaele. Penalty: Cripps.
All Stars XV – Tries: Akihito Yamada, Andre Taylor. Conversion: Hikaru Tamura.