The Sunwolves host the Reds in Round 5 of Super Rugby in Tokyo on Saturday and the home side are favourites in the early betting.
Sunwolves v Reds, Saturday 16th March, Tokyo, KO 06:15 (South African time)
Referee: Damon Murphy
Assistant Refs: Shuhei Kubo, Aki Aso
TMO: Minoru Fuji
Weather Forecast - Tokyo
The Sunwolves return to base after 2 matches in New Zealand, the first of which saw them chalk up a first win on those shores and they didn’t need the 25.5 point start the bookmakers gave them against the Chiefs as they won the match 30-15. Last week they couldn’t follow up against the Blues in Albany where they lost 28-20 but they did stay within another plus handicap.
In the first round the Sunwolves crashed 45-10 at home to the Sharks in Singapore but there was vast improvement in Round 2 against the Waratahs in Tokyo where they were edged out by just a single point (31-30).
The Reds have lost all 3 of their matches so far. They made their entry to the tournament away to the Highlanders in Round 2 and although they lost 36-31, they were very competitive, threatening to win the game. In Round 3 the Reds lost 22-12 at home to the Crusaders, a game they always trailed after conceding 2 early tries.
Last week the Reds lost to the Waratahs 28-17 at the Sydney Cricket Ground and their away record continues to make miserable reading with just 2 wins in the last 26 away fixtures. They did take on the Sunwolves twice in 2018 and although the Reds won easily in Brisbane in Round 19, they did find themselves on the wrong end of a 63-28 hiding in Tokyo in Round 13
Sunwolves: 15 Jason Emery, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Sione Teaupa, 12 Michael Little, 11 Hosea Saumaki, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Jamie Booth, 8 Rahboni Warren Vosayaco, 7 Dan Pryor, 6 Ben Gunter, 5 Tom Rowe, 4 Uwe Helu, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Atsushi Sakate, 1 Pauliasi Manu
Substitutes: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Asaeli Valu, 19 James Moore, 20 Amanaki Mafi, 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Semisi Masirewa
Reds: 15 Hamish Stewart, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Samu Kerevi (captain), 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Sefa Naivalu, 10 Isaac Lucas, 9 Moses Sorovi, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Harry Hockings, 3 Ruan Smith, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 JP Smith
Substitutes: 16 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 17 Harry Hooper, 18 Feao Fotuaika, 19 Angus Blyth, 20 Caleb Timu, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Teti Tela, 23 Filipo Daugunu
Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2018 Brisbane Reds 48–27 Sunwolves (Tries 7-3 )
2018 Tokyo Sunwolves 63–28 Reds (Tries 6-4)
2016 Brisbane Reds 35–25 Sunwolves (Tries 4-3 )
Note, odds quoted are correct at the time of the last update but are subject to change.
Very seldom have the Sunwolves traded as favourites to win a Super Rugby match but if the New Zealand trip hasn’t take too much wind out of their sails they should be a handful for a Reds side who don’t travel well.
I don’t see the Sunwolves as bankers but I’ll go with them to lead at half time and full time.
Bet: 2 units HT/FT Sunwolves/Sunwolves at 13/10
(Unit Scale 1 to 5)
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