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Match Highlights - Reds rally to snatch first win in Tokyo thriller

Hamish Stewart’s late penalty capped a stunning fightback from the Reds as they rallied to claim a first Super Rugby win of the season, beating the Sunwolves 34-31 in Tokyo on Saturday.


The Queensland side looked to be heading for a fourth defeat out of four when the Sunwolves led 21-5 at half-time at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, but it was a different story after the break.

Jamie Booth, Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco and Dan Pryor crossed to put the Sunwolves in command, with a Liam Wright five-pointer all the Reds could muster before the interval.

The Reds came roaring back with three tries in the space of seven minutes midway through the second half, Brandon Paenga-Amosa claiming a double either side of Harry Hoopert finishing off a great move.

Keisuke Uchida took advantage of a Reds error from the restart to level in a pulsating encounter and Hayden Parker converted, then extended the Sunwolves’ lead with a penalty seven minutes from the end of a thriller.

Brad Thorn’s side came back again, though, Tate McDermott pouncing to score when an attempted clearance was charged down and although Stewart was unable to add the extras, he won it from the tee in the 79th minute.

The encounter between the Highlanders and the Crusaders in Dunedin was called off as a mark of respect following the terror attacks in Christchurch on Friday.


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William 16 minutes ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Correct analysis of Perofeta’s bungling of the try opportunity Ben. Never ‘fixed’ Steward as he came across in defence and passed too early. Steward didn’t have to break his stride and simply moved on to pressure Telea. Never scanned the easier option of passing to the two supporting players on the inside. Beauden Barrett showed how it is done when he put Telea in for his try. Another point from the game is that the rush defence is hard to maintain as the number of phases increases. From scrums the defensive line only contains backs who all have roughly the same pace. Once forwards are involved, the defence has players with variable speeds often leading to a jagged line. It also tends to lose pace overall giving the attack more time and space. Beauden Barrett’s break to set up Telea’s try came because Baxter went in to tackle McKenzie and Steward went out to cover Telea. Barrett has a massive hole to run through, then commits Steward by passing as late as possible and Telea scores untouched. Another comment I would make is that Ben Earl is a good player and generally an excellent defender but he made three significant misses in the series, two of which led to All Black tries. Got stepped by Perofeta in Dunedin for Savea’s try, missed McKenzie in Auckland leading to what should have been a certain try being set up by Perofeta and was one of the tacklers who couldn’t stop Savea in the leadup to Telea’s first try. Perhaps he should contact Owen Farrell to pick up a few tips from ‘tackle school’.

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