Sunwolves win first game

Sunwolves head coach Mark Hammett. Photo / AP
Sunwolves head coach Mark Hammett. Photo / AP

Mark Hammett was upbeat after new Japanese Super Rugby franchise won their opening trial game.

But the former All Black hooker and Hurricanes coach readily admitted Super Rugby's least prepared team has a mountain to climb this year.

Remarkably, the Japanese Sunwolves only trial with a team of limited combinations was last Saturday's 52-24 stroll against a Japanese Top League XV.

It came after barely a week with the whole squad training together under Hammett who was upbeat but realistic after the game in Tokyo.

"As I've said all along, in the first year there's going to be hurdles, struggles and learnings," Hammett said last week.

"While we need to prepare for now, we also need to have a good eye for the future."

The Sunwolves face a daunting debut season with no obvious wins, starting with a tough first assignment against South Africa's Lions in Tokyo on February 27.

South Africa's Bulls have suffered a major setback with Springbok first-five Handre Pollard ruled out for the season with the major knee injury.

Western Force winger Luke Morahan scored two tries in a strong attacking display in the 34-26 trial win on Saturday over the Asia Pacific Dragons in Perth.

For the Force, former Springbok flyhalf Peter Grant enjoyed valuable time on the field coming to grips with his new team's pattern and threw the final pass for Junior Rasolea's try.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Stats provided by

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 05 Dec 2016 08:01:52 Processing Time: 507ms