The second of the Super Rugby Round 10 matches taking place on Friday sees the Sunwolves host the Hurricanes in Tokyo
Sunwolves v Hurricanes, Friday 19th April, Tokyo, KO 12:00 (South African time)
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Refs: Ben O'Keeffe, Shuhei Kubo
TMO: Minoru Fuji
Weather Forecast - Tokyo
The Sunwolves return from a bye with a record of 2 wins and 6 defeats against their name. The victories both came away from home in games where they were given either side of 20 points start on the handicap. They turned the Chiefs over (30-15) in Hamilton in Round 3 and in Round 7 they shocked the Waratahs (31-29) in Newcastle.
Of 4 home fixtures this season the Sunwolves have played 2 matches in Tokyo and 2 in Singapore and they been far more competitive in Tokyo. In Round 2 they lost the first meeting with the Waratahs (31-30) and a late Reds comeback saw them go down 34-31 at this venue in Round 5.
The aforementioned win at the Chiefs was their second victory over NZ opposition with the other success coming against the Blues (48-21) in Tokyo in 2017.
The Sunwolves are bottom of the Australian Conference, 4 points shy of the fourth placed Reds.
The Hurricanes also sat out Round 9 and they return to action in second spot in the NZ Conference, all of 11 points behind the Crusaders but the Canes have played 1 game fewer. They have won 5, drawn 1 and lost twice this season with the 2 defeats coming home and away to the Crusaders where they finished well beaten on both occassions.
Of their 5 wins 4 were settled by no more than 6 points and they also drew 23-23 against the Chiefs in Hamilton. The Canes biggest winning margin this season came at home to the Brumbies (43-13) in Round 3.
One previous visit to Tokyo to take on the Sunwolves saw the Canes run in 13 tries and rattle up more than 80 points in 2017.
Sunwolves: 15 Ryohei Yamanaka, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Josh Timu, 12 Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, 11 Semisi Masirewa, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Jamie Booth, 8 Hendrik Tui, 7 Dan Pryor (c), 6 Ben Gunter, 5 Luke Thompson, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Nathan Vella, 1 Pauliasi Manu
Substitutes: 16 Atsushi Sakata, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Tom Rowe, 20 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Jason Emery, 23 Jamie Henry
Hurricanes: 15 Chase Tiatia, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Du'Plessis Kirifi, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Liam Mitchell, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Ben May, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Fraser Armstrong
Substitutes: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Jeff To'omaga-Allen, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Sam Henwood, 21 Richard Judd, 22 James Marshall, 23 Billy Proctor
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Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2018 Wellington Hurricanes 43-15 Sunwolves (Tries 7-2 )
2017 Tokyo Sunwolves 17-83 Hurricanes (Tries 3-13 )
Note, odds quoted are available at the time of writing but are subject to change.
For me this is a game to have no more than a passing interest in. The Canes are not at full strength and they haven’t been putting sides away this season whilst the Sunwolves results have been volatile.
I’ll work on the principle that the main handicap line will be pretty accurate and nibble at the Canes to win by 11-20 points inclusive.
Bet: 1 unit, Alternative Winning Margin, Hurricanes by 11-20 points at 3/1
(Unit Scale 1 to 5)
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