Sunwolves claim long-awaited Super Rugby win, Brumbies crush Reds
Sunwolves claimed their first Super Rugby win for almost a year by edging out Bulls 21-20 in Tokyo courtesy of a late Yu Tamura penalty and Brumbies hammered Reds 43-10, while Highlanders saw off Blues.
The Japanese franchise had not registered a victory since seeing off Jaguares late last April, but they got up and running for the 2017 campaign at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium.
Sunwolves led 11-10 at half-time courtesy of a Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco try and two Hayden Cripps penalties, with Burger Odendaal going over for Bulls.
They looked set for defeat when Travis Ismaiel's converted try put Bulls in front, but Takaaki Nakazuru's converted score reduced the deficit to two points and Tamura slotted over from the tee to give Sunwolves the lead five minutes from time.
Francois Brummer could have snatched it after 76 minutes to play, but his missed penalty ensured struggling Bulls have now lost five of their six matches.
Sorry Reds also endured more misery, with Australian Conference leaders Brumbies putting them to the sword in the second half at Gio Stadium.
It was a day to forget for back row George Smith against his former employers, who ran riot with five second-half tries after the two sides were locked at 10-10 at the interval.
There were five-pointers from Robbie Abel, Aidan Toua, Jarrad Butler, James Dargaville and Chris Alcock as hapless Reds fell away after the break, leaving them with just the one win to their name this season.
Highlanders have now won four of their last five matches after coming from seven points down at half-time to see off Blues 26-20, captain Ben Smith and Malakai Fekitoa scoring tries for the 2015 champions.