The Brumbies came back from 19-8 down to beat the Sunwolves 32-25 in Tokyo on Saturday. DYLAN JACK reports.
Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar will be pleased that his side was able to come away with a win after their lacklustre first-half performance where they lost the gainline and breakdown battles.
After the Brumbies took an early 3-0 lead with a Christian Lealiifano penalty, the Sunwolves replied with three tries, including a brace from wing Hosea Samaki – one of which came from the back of a rolling 12-man maul.
The visitors kept themselves in the game with tries from replacement flanker Lachlan McCaffrey and centre Kyle Godwin.
The Brumbies, however, came out firing in the second half and managed to grab two early tries. One of them was a gift from Sunwolves scrumhalf Yutaka Nagare, who threw a pass into the posts, with the ball bouncing into the hands of Brumbies centre Tevita Kuridrani, who then fell over the line.
With the Sunwolves visibly tiring, Brumbies fullback Tom Banks sealed the win with a try in the corner to finish off a well-worked move.
Sunwolves replacement Hayden Parker kicked a penalty on the stroke of full-time to grab a bonus point for the hosts.
Sunwolves – Tries: Hosea Saumaki (2), Timothy Lafaele. Conversions: Ryoto Nakamura (2). Penalties: Hayden Parker (2).
Brumbies – Tries: Lachlan Mccaffrey, Kyle Godwin, Tevita Kuridrani, Josh Mann-Rea, Tom Banks. Conversions: Christian Lealiifano (2). Penalty: Lealiifano.
Sunwolves – 15 Jason Emery, 14 Lomano Lava Lemeki, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Ryoto Nakamura, 11 Hosea Saumaki, 10 Robbie Robinson, 9 Yutaka Nagare (c), 8 Willem Britz, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Kazuki Himeno, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Jiwon Koo, 2 Ho Shota Horie, 1 Keita Inagaki.
Subs: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Asaeli Ai Valu, 19 James Moore, 20 Edward Quirk, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Sione Teaupa.
Brumbies – 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Chance Peni, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Richie Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Ben Alexander.
Subs: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Faalelei Sione, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Rory Arnold, 20 Lachlan Mccaffrey, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Wharenui Hawera, 23 Lausii Taliauli
Photo: Matt Roberts/Getty Images