The same Blues side that etched its name in the history books last month with a momentous win against the British & Irish Lions has made history for all the wrong reasons today, becoming the first Kiwi side to fall to the Sunwolves.
That’s right. The struggling Japanese side scored a massive upset at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium this afternoon, smashing our team 48-21 and outscoring us eight tries to three in the process.
To say it was not the way we wanted to farewell much-loved Blues stalwarts Steven Luatua and Charlie Faumuina is a huge understatement, but we were thoroughly outplayed by the home team, who tackled their hearts out and took all the opportunities that the Blues gave them.
That included a remarkable 19 Blues handling errors, as the team seemed to melt in the scorching heat, especially during the second half when we were held scoreless.
Captain James Parsons, impressive young lock Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, and fullback Michael Collins all touched down in the first half, giving us a seven-point lead at half time.
But the turning point came in the 58th minute when Jerome Kaino was awarded a yellow card for his shoulder making contact with another player’s head. The momentum shifted irreparably in favour of the home team and the Blues just never recovered.
Full credit to the Sunwolves for playing well and finishing their season on a high, and to their second five-eighth Tim Lafaele who scored a hat trick.
Score: Sunwolves 48 | Blues 21