Reuters TOKYO (Reuters) — The Sunwolves picked up their first win of the Super Rugby season at the 10th attempt when Hayden Parker and Hosea Saumaki led the way in a rousing 63-28 victory over the slumping Queensland Reds in Tokyo on Saturday.
In the final match to be held in Tokyo this season — the last two Sunwolves home games will be in Hong Kong and Singapore — flyhalf Parker amassed 36 points and winger Saumaki scored a hat-trick of tries to inspire a much-needed victory.
Tries from Parker and lock Grant Hattingh, as well as five penalties from the former, gave the Sunwolves a 15-point lead at halftime, and Jamie Joseph’s men continued to punish the 2011 champion after the break.
Three second-half scores from Saumaki and a penalty try sealed the comfortable victory.
“For me, as the coach of this team, this result wasn’t a surprise,” stressed Joseph.
“Every week we had been improving, but we hadn’t been able to get over the line and get a win. So today, for me, the team put everything together in the same match.”
Joseph made five changes to the side that lost to the Wellington Hurricanes two weeks ago, including a return for talismanic Brave Blossoms skipper Michael Leitch from injury.
However, it took some time for the revamped lineup to make an impact as converted tries from Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Ben Lucas in the first 22 minutes gave the Reds a 14-9 lead.
The match turned on the half-hour mark when Hattingh went over for the home side’s first try of the day.