Hot for Hong Kong – Sunwolves buoyed by first Super Rugby victory over Aussie opposition
Japan-based team travel to the city on the back of a thumping 63-28 win over the Reds last week
The punishing early summer heat could prove key to the Sunwolves’ quest to string together a maiden winning streak when they face the Western Stormers in a Super Rugby clash at Mong Kok Stadium on Saturday.
The Japan-based franchise are buoyed by their first win of the season and head coach Jamie
Joseph is eager to get stuck into Robbie Fleck’s team. “I can’t wait,” the former New Zealand and Japan international said following the Sunwolves’ 63-28 win over the Reds in their last game of the year in Tokyo. “It was hot [on Saturday] and will be hotter in Hong Kong and the big men from South Africa will struggle in the heat.”
With the monkey off their back, the Sunwolves will be looking to put together a winning streak for the
first time in their three-year history. But despite recording the biggest win in their history, and their first against Australian opposition, Joseph said the team had plenty to work on before they take on the
“We conceded nearly 30 points and let in some soft tries,” he said following last Saturday’s game at
Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground. “We need to eradicate the soft moments, the majority of which happen in defence.”
The two sides have met four times before, with the Stormers picking up big wins in Cape Town – 46-19 in Cape Town in 2016 and 52-15 in 2017. However, things have been much tighter in the heat of Singapore with the 2016 game finishing in a 17-17 draw and the game last year ending in a 44-31 win for the South Africans.
Saturday’s game marks Joseph’s last in charge before he takes a break to concentrate on the national side’s preparations for the June tests against Italy and Georgia. Tony Brown will act as head coach for the game against the Rebels on May 25 in Melbourne, while Scott Hansen will be in charge for the match against the Brumbies in Canberra on June 3.