Tokyo (Japan) (AFP) – The Auckland Blues crushed the winless Sunwolves 24-10 on Saturday for only their second Super Rugby win of the season, with Jordan Hyland grabbing two tries.
Snapping a three-game losing streak, the Blues scored four tries to earn a bonus point but are still at the bottom of the New Zealand conference.
The struggling Sunwolves, who scored only one try, stretched their losing streak to seven games and stay bottom-ranked in the Australian conference.
The Sunwolves took the initial lead as Yu Tamura slotted a penalty to post the game’s opening points after All Black Patrick Tuipulotu was sin-binned for a shoulder charge at Tokyo’s Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium.
The Japanese side quickly expanded the lead as Hayden Parker cruised through the defence and precisely offloaded to Samoa-born Timothy Lafaele, who bagged the game’s first try.
Cheered by the local crowd, the Sunwolves displayed their excellent defence as their fierce tackles blocked the visitors’ run.
But the Blues launched a counterattack as Hyland made a powerful dash for a try before the break.
The visitors snatched the lead in the second half as Akira Ioane made an excellent run and crossed the line with Stephen Perofeta nailing the conversion.
The Blues dominated the second half with two more tries, including the second by Hyland in the final minutes of the game. The Sunwolves, losing stamina, faced the Blues’ tough defence, failing to post any score in the second half.
The Blues will clash with the Highlanders and the Sunwolves will battle the Crusaders next week.