Reds' season hits embarrassing new low in Tokyo

Melissa Woods
Reds' season hits embarrassing new low in Tokyo

The pumped-up Sunwolves have won their first Super Rugby match of the season and delivered a huge blow to the Queensland Reds with a 63-28 hammering in Tokyo.

Kiwi-born five-eighth Hayden Parker did much of the damage for the Sunwolves, scoring 24 of their 29 first-half points at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, but the Reds did themselves no favours.

Through lazy play, they handed sharp-shooter Parker five opportunities to kick penalty goals in the opening 40 minutes and he finished with a team record personal tally of 36 points including 12 goals from 12 attempts.

Sunwolves winger Hosea Saumaki also had a day out, finishing with a hat-trick of tries.

Their attack also lacked creativity, unable to capitalise on dominant field position and possession, while their kicking game was below par as well.

After upsetting South African heavyweights the Lions in their last match, the Reds fancied their chances but became the first Australian team to lose to the Sunwolves.

The Reds were no match for the Sunwolves. Image: Getty

Sitting third in the Australian conference, the loss meant they blew a golden chance to make up ground on the NSW Waratahs and Melbourne Rebels.

While Parker opened with a penalty in the first minute of the game, the Reds scored the first try with aspiring Wallaby hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa planting the ball at the back of their rolling maul.

Halfback Ben Lucas darted from the back of a maul to plant the ball across the line in the 21st minute and Reds were out to 14-9 lead.

But penalties kept the home side in touch before lock Grant Hattingh scored with an obvious forward pass, overlooked by the TMO.

Three minutes later, Parker crossed after a superb team try which he converted for a 26-14 scoreline and momentum was with the Sunwolves.

The Reds tried to rally in the second half with their reserves lifting the tempo.

However, any small chance of a comeback was snuffed out in the 69th minute when the Sunwolves were awarded a penalty try and Duncan Paia'aua yellow-carded for a high tackle as he tried to bring down Jason Emery.