Reds’ Super season hits new low in Tokyo

By Melissa Woods,

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69 Have your say

    Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn says his side “got what they deserved”, with the pumped-up Sunwolves claiming their first Super Rugby match win of the season with a 63-28 hammering in Tokyo.

    Kiwi-born five-eighth Hayden Parker did much of the damage for the Sunwolves at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium with a personal tally of 36 points.

    He finished off a brilliant first-half team try and kicked 12 goals from 12 attempts, while Sunwolves winger Hosea Saumaki also had a day out, collecting a hat-trick of tries.

    While the Sunwolves deserved the win, the Reds did themselves no favours.

    Through lazy play, they conceded 12 penalties to hand their opponents 21 points, their attack lacked creativity, defence was lacklustre and their kicking game was below par as well.

    Thorn said his team were simply beaten by the better team on the day.

    “There was lot of poor, basic footy out there and we got what we deserved,” Thorn said.

    “Hats off to Hayden Parker who scored 30-odd points; the forwards were good; they were really good at the breakdown so well done to them,” Thorn said.

    “They were by far the better side.”

    After upsetting South African heavyweights the Lions in their last match, the Reds were riding high but instead became the first Australian team to lose to the Sunwolves.

    “You saw the performance and attitude against the Lions and then today, it just wasn’t on par,” Thorn said.

    “It’s frustrating – it’s a long way to come to perform like that.”

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

    They next face tough encounters against the Hurricanes and Highlanders.

    While Parker opened with a penalty goal in the first minute of the game, the Reds scored the first try with 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 penalty goals kept the home side in touch before lock Grant Hattingh scored after an obvious forward pass was 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 was yellow-carded for a high tackle as he tried to bring down Jason Emery.

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (69)

    • May 12th 2018 @ 9:25pm
      High Tackle said | May 12th 2018 @ 9:25pm | ! Report

      I can’t help but think if Quade was there…if Thorn had of just given him a chance to prove himself…The Sunwolves would have won by more.

      Go Sunwolves.

      Went to see a game in Tokyo and loved it.
      Great country, great people.
      The culture allows you to take whatever you like into the stadium.
      Hope to see a future of Super Rugby that includes NZ, Aus, Japan, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa if SA goes the European route.

      • Roar Guru

        May 13th 2018 @ 12:02am
        The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 13th 2018 @ 12:02am | ! Report

        You had me fooled in your opening sentence 🙂

        Watching the Sunwolves in Tokyo is for sure on my bucket list.

      • May 13th 2018 @ 5:48am
        Ben said | May 13th 2018 @ 5:48am | ! Report

        Yup and David Lord recently wrote an article saying the Sunwolves shouldnt even be in the comp.
        Well they did something last year no aus team could do and beat a nz side and now theyve rolled the reds.
        Just like a couple of seasons ago Lord wrote the Jaguares shouldnt be in it and now look at them.
        At least both those teams are improving.
        Just like the Aus teams…..

        • Columnist

          May 13th 2018 @ 6:35am
          David Lord said | May 13th 2018 @ 6:35am | ! Report

          Well done Ben, you are one of those genius Monday punters who knows all the results of the previous Saturday.

          Let me remind you Ben, prior to the Sunwolves staggering 63-28 thumping of the Reds, the franchise had played 39 games for three wins and a draw, with a deficit of 891 points for and against.

          They couldn’t beat time, and didn’t deserve to be in Super Rugby, as Italy doesn’t deserve to be in the Six Nations.

          Ben, seeing you are such a great judge, I suppose you said on 14 August 1948 that Don Bradman would be dismissed for a duck at The Oval in his last Test dig.

          Yeah right.

          • May 13th 2018 @ 6:47am
            Cynical Play said | May 13th 2018 @ 6:47am | ! Report

            That’s a Lord apology folks.

          • May 13th 2018 @ 7:18am
            Ben said | May 13th 2018 @ 7:18am | ! Report

            First im not as old as that being able to predict something in 1948.
            Second you rubbished both the Jaguares and Sunwolves without giving them any semblance of a chance or time.
            How come you never rubbished the Rebels when they came in? And theyve had plenty of time…and still only make up the numbers.
            So narrow minded to say oh the Jaguares and Sunwolves are rubbish get rid of them …they are both massive improvers and were only going to get better..everyone except you knew that.
            Obviously you’re not much of a judge. You dont need to predict anything to admit new teams and wait for improvement. But hey….just rubbish them straight off the bat.
            Hard to admit you were wrong in writing such scathing articles about 2 teams that are improving..1 of which is a massive competitor and actually challenging…unlike 3 of the Aussie teams.

            • Columnist

              May 13th 2018 @ 7:52am
              David Lord said | May 13th 2018 @ 7:52am | ! Report

              Typical of a one-off genius, Ben has picked on one Sunwolves game in 40 to tell me they deserve to be in Super Rugby.

              SANZAR made two monumental blunders by inviting the Sunwolves and Jaguares into Super Rugby which dramatically increased travel time, plus extra wear and tear on players.

              The governing body changed its name to SANZAAR, which then admitted the mistake by cutting Super Rugby back to 15, keeping the Sunwolves and Jaguares mistakes in play, but booting out the Western Force, and two South African sides.

              Now the incompetent SANZAAR is toying with further changes, it has no idea what it wants, and its the players who are suffering – not of course the SANZAAR officials who travel first class and don’t have to train, or play.

              Had it stayed as SANZAR with five franchises from New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, none of this crap would have happened.


              • May 13th 2018 @ 8:00am
                Itsme said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:00am | ! Report

                Pull your head in mate. I guess no-one is allowed a differing opinion.
                Your need to try and belittle others shows how little credit anyone should pay to your one eyed ramblings.

              • May 13th 2018 @ 8:09am
                Ben said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:09am | ! Report

                …and how do you know the Sunwolves wont improve to the level the Jaguares are now at?
                Its brilliant spreading the gospel of rugby union to sth america and japan.
                You sound like my 83 year old man.
                Only takeaways he’ll eat is fish n chips..none of that new foreign stuff….Look how much the Argie and Japanese crowds love it….or are you scared more Aus teams are gonna get kicked by the Jaguares and Sunwolves.

              • May 13th 2018 @ 8:11am
                woodart said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:11am | ! Report

                rubbish. had they stayed with five teams each ,this crap (as you call it) would still have happened. aussie teams would still be getting thumped ,and doomsayers like yourself would still be shifting blame onto others. time to stop blaming the overseeing body of super rugby for the crappy performance of the aussie teams. almost all of the other teams in this competition are lifting their games…whats YOUR excuse???

              • May 13th 2018 @ 1:18pm
                Drongo said | May 13th 2018 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

                Super rugby is doomed as long as NZ treat it like a competition between nations and insist on limiting player movement between franchises. What you end up with is total Kiwi domination and a substandard and uninteresting competition. It is meant to be a competition between franchises, not nations. Player recruitment should be unlimited.

              • May 13th 2018 @ 2:28pm
                Markie362 said | May 13th 2018 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

                They are free to pick whomever they want but if your a kiwi playing in aus the abs wont pick you

              • May 13th 2018 @ 8:25am
                concerned supporter said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:25am | ! Report

                SANZAAR is a puppet of Foxtel/Murdoch, who are the true power brokers of Super Rugby.

              • May 13th 2018 @ 8:42am
                Sage said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:42am | ! Report

                Disagree all you want but try and be a bit more civil. Regardless of how much you disagree with David show some respect. There will always be articles here you don’t like and strongly disagree with. That’s how it works. David has a very rich rugby background, far more than you I would suggest and it would pay to keep that in mind. If anyone needs to pull their head in its you

              • May 13th 2018 @ 9:13am
                Ben said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:13am | ! Report

                And the same modicum of civility doesnt apply to Lord cos hes David Lord?
                Guess Trump should be able to say whatever he wants about anybody cos hes the president of the usa….

              • May 13th 2018 @ 9:21am
                Bamboo said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:21am | ! Report

                This is such poor form from you David.

                The reality is without the Japanese team the ARU/Rugby Australia would of been insolvent by now, and it did come very close to that.

                You are just one of the many in Australia rugby with an overinflated sense of self importance and entitlement based on glories from 30 years ago.. Stop working your way backwards from a desired outcome, which clearly is what is best for Aussie Rugby, especially when common sense suggests otherwise.

                – All Blacks should focus on Australia
                – All Blacks should cut South Africa
                – Aussie teams are crap. Blame the Sunwolves
                – Aussie teams are crap. Blame the Jaguares

                Just stay in your naive world of warm fuzzies, occupied by Rod MacQueen, Ken Catchpole, the “fact” that Randwick invested running rugby.

                Whens your prediction of Amanaki Mafi signing for the Wallabies occuring? We’re all prick for questioning you on that one right?

              • May 13th 2018 @ 11:47am
                Sage said | May 13th 2018 @ 11:47am | ! Report

                Wasn’t talking to you Ben

              • May 13th 2018 @ 11:58am
                Ben said | May 13th 2018 @ 11:58am | ! Report

                I know you werent……

              • Roar Rookie

                May 13th 2018 @ 10:31pm
                Shane D said | May 13th 2018 @ 10:31pm | ! Report

                Perfectly fine to call for a young mans professional career to be ended in the basis of one game though apparently.

            • May 13th 2018 @ 8:07am
              Fionn said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:07am | ! Report

              Wasn’t David’s article this year? That would have meant they had at least two full seasons.

              • May 13th 2018 @ 8:12am
                Ben said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:12am | ! Report

                How many full seasons have the Rebels had or the Force and hiw many times have they made the knockout stage or genuinely challenged for the title.
                Even the Kings or Cheetahs. How long did they have to stake a claim?

              • May 13th 2018 @ 8:16am
                Fionn said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:16am | ! Report

                Yeah, but they were always more competitive than the Sunwolves, at least until the disastrous season last year that saw Aus cut a team. And I thought Lord’s complaint about the Jags was that it was quasi-national team in a club competition?

                To say they weren’t given a chance is disingenuous. They were given two full seasons. Good to see the Jags got it together, and I hope the Sunwolves do the same – but I still have my reservations about the Sunwolves.

              • May 13th 2018 @ 3:08pm
                Malo said | May 13th 2018 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

                Sunwolves are vital for the comp and the market. So are the Jags. Jags have won two against Nz. 4 teams in oz zip. Let’s not cast stones. We are rubbish

              • May 13th 2018 @ 8:29am
                Lion Brown said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:29am | ! Report

                When you see the crowds and the on field improvement based around a very good coaching set up – think the Sunwolves are going to be a big asset to SR going forward and the Australians should actually be pleased they’re in their conference

              • May 13th 2018 @ 8:32am
                Ben said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:32am | ! Report

                Yeah aussies should be grateful.
                Someone has to come last in every comp. And if it werent the Sunwolves….

              • May 13th 2018 @ 8:35am
                Fionn said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:35am | ! Report

                I don’t think many people care if they beat the Sunwolves.

                They would if they were competitive, but for three years they haven’t been. This just went to show how dire the Australian teams were last year that they finished ahead of the Rebels. One swallow does not make a summer.

              • May 13th 2018 @ 8:52am
                Ben said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:52am | ! Report

                Oh well get rid of Romania Tonga Canada Samoa Namibia from the world cup. Gee while your at it get rid of Australia from the Bledisloe….

              • May 13th 2018 @ 9:00am
                Fionn said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:00am | ! Report

                The name ‘world cup’ gives you a fair indication of why they’re in it. That’s a bit different to a SANZAAR annual club competition, eh?

                But you know that, you’re just trying to be ‘funny’ through sarcasm.

                New Zealand play in the Bledisloe for $$$ as much as anything.

              • May 13th 2018 @ 9:19am
                Ben said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:19am | ! Report

                So your point is after 2 years the Sunwolves should be gone cos theyre not competitive.
                They beat the Blues. Something Aus teams havent done for a few years. They put 60 on the Reds. They conceded 90 once to i think the Sharks but the Tahs did the same to the crusaders.
                The Rebels should be out in that case…give the Sunwolves time like the Jags and they will be beating Aus teams more often than you like.
                Just like Fiji Samoa Tonga did against Aus.

              • May 13th 2018 @ 9:23am
                Fionn said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:23am | ! Report

                No, I don’t think that they will. Japan has an extremely successful club competition that is their focus, and they do not seem to be taking Super Rugby seriously as a result of this.

                If they start beating the Australians more often then I won’t have any issue with them, as they will have justified their place. Thus far, they’ve only won four matches in 2.5 seasons.

                Anyway, we’ve both said our pieces. I think we should probably agree to disagree.

              • May 13th 2018 @ 9:36am
                Ben said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:36am | ! Report

                Well we will never know…unless maybe they stay in the comp…..

              • May 13th 2018 @ 9:42am
                Fionn said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:42am | ! Report

                Yep, that’s the irony of our discussion. So we can continue this conversation in 5 years, eh?

      • May 14th 2018 @ 12:37pm
        Hello said | May 14th 2018 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

        High Tackle,

        Good to See New Zealanders do get out of Hobbit Isle . Well done. I clap for you.

      • May 16th 2018 @ 3:05pm
        Honkey_Red said | May 16th 2018 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

        I was also at the game and cant speak highly enough about the hospitality. The Japanese really know how to put on an event and make everyone feel welcome.

        Sadly the Sunwolves didnt do the same and let this long suffering Reds support watch a win live …..

    • May 12th 2018 @ 10:28pm
      Harry said | May 12th 2018 @ 10:28pm | ! Report

      Reds humiliated in Tokyo with sadly several players looking well out of their depth – and this against a side that hadn’t won all season! Others resorted to bad old habits. Depressing, hoping they can improve next week.

      • Columnist

        May 13th 2018 @ 9:17am
        David Lord said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:17am | ! Report

        Ben, you’ve just proved how shallow your knowledge is of rugby by suggesting Romania, Tonga, Canada, Samoa, and Namibia shouldn’t be in the Rugby World Cup.

        The difference is huge.

        Those countries have earned the right to be in the RWC in the middle where it counts.

        The Sunwolves and Jaguares didn’t, they were handed entry to Super Rugby on a platter, they sure didn’t earn the promotion, nor the right.

        • May 13th 2018 @ 9:30am
          Bamboo said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:30am | ! Report

          Question: Where would Australia Rugby be without the money from this expansion?

          The answer is not Ken Catchpole or Rod MacQueen.

          You don’t know what you’re talking about David. The beauty about numbers, unlike your argument, is there is no emotion.

          The only flirting Bill Pulver did was with insolvency.

        • May 13th 2018 @ 9:40am
          Ben said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:40am | ! Report

          My knowledge of rugby dates back to the 1971 Lions tour to nz. As well as knowing rugby history inside out. Ive got pretty good knowledge. Youve just proven the shallow narrow minded opinion you have of incorporating overseas teams.
          Lucky rugby is a world sport.

        • Roar Guru

          May 13th 2018 @ 9:50am
          The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:50am | ! Report

          What teams “earned” their right to be there David?
          The other teams in the comp were not handed their places also?
          How is it possible to get promoted to SR? Any special competition?

          • May 13th 2018 @ 9:56am
            Fionn said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:56am | ! Report

            Do the Japanese consider Super Rugby to be a ‘promotion’ above their top league? I understand the private clubs have a lot of power there, but it doesn’t appear to me, for whatever reason, that Japan are doing their best to field the most competitive team that they can. They have a lot of very good players in their league that aren’t playing for the Sunwolves.

            • Roar Guru

              May 13th 2018 @ 10:27am
              The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 13th 2018 @ 10:27am | ! Report

              Yes, SR is considered to be above the Top League by JFRU and fans.
              Problem is JFRU is amateur and has no money, was handed a SR spot by SANZAAR without any assistance what so ever, but with plenty of challenges no other team has to deal with.
              This year the control of the Subwolves has been taken away from JFRU and now they are more driven like an independent team with the aim to be “owned” by the fans/sponsors.
              The Top League clubs borrow their players for free to the Sunwolves, but relations between TL and Sunwolves can of course improve, but it is not like they don’t get along. They are still trying to work out what’s the best way to work moving forward and every year we see improvements. And the money is starting to come in. Sunwolves aim is to “own” all their players’ contracts within 2-3 years.

              It is not like there are 10-15 starters in the Blossoms not playing for the Sunwolves.

              • May 13th 2018 @ 10:32am
                Fionn said | May 13th 2018 @ 10:32am | ! Report

                I knew there were more issues like in France and England about the power of clubs.

                I am not at all convinced by the concept, but I guess we will see in a couple of years. If they actually succeed in winning the hearts and minds of the Japanese public then that could be an answer for the Southern Hemisphere’s financial woes.

                There are a lot of international quality players in Japan who aren’t playing for the Sunwolves though. Someone like Sean McMahon is a case in point.

              • Roar Guru

                May 13th 2018 @ 10:40am
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 13th 2018 @ 10:40am | ! Report

                There are a lot of international quality players in Japan who aren’t playing for the Sunwolves though. Someone like Sean McMahon is a case in point.
                There is. But this season and next season they are using Sunwolves mainly to prepare for the WC. Their vision for the future is indeed to be able to have world-class foreign players in the team combined with the best Japanese.

              • May 13th 2018 @ 10:45am
                Fionn said | May 13th 2018 @ 10:45am | ! Report

                ‘But this season and next season they are using Sunwolves mainly to prepare for the WC.’

                Yeah, which I see as a problem, but I know you won’t, so I think it is best that we agree to disagree.

              • Roar Guru

                May 13th 2018 @ 10:48am
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 13th 2018 @ 10:48am | ! Report

                Well, every team is SR is used to prepare the national team, so what is the difference when the Sunwolves are doing it? This is not an exclusive problem for the Sunwolves, it is the biggest flaw/problem with SR overall.

              • May 13th 2018 @ 10:53am
                Fionn said | May 13th 2018 @ 10:53am | ! Report

                Difference between not playing your best team in order to prepare for the RWC (when you’ve already got a flourishing domestic comp, I might add) and structuring the comp to directly benefit the national side.

                The fact that guys like Amanaki Mafi, Hawera, Gardon-Bachop are/we playing for Australian teams proves that it isn’t just being used to prepare the national sides. They’re trying to make the teams as competitive as possible.

                Australia even cut a side at the behest of SANZAAR to make us more competitive.

              • Roar Guru

                May 13th 2018 @ 11:05am
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 13th 2018 @ 11:05am | ! Report

                The Sunwolves also have a few players that are not available for the Japanese national team.

                According to RA they cut a side cause they could not afford five teams.

                Mitre10 is also a flourishing local competition, yet them Kiwis are using SR to improve the All Blacks…

              • May 13th 2018 @ 11:09am
                Fionn said | May 13th 2018 @ 11:09am | ! Report

                But the Kiwis aren’t intentionally not playing their strongest team when they are uncompetitive and garbage, are they?

                Not even the Australians are intentionally not playing their strongest teams in order to prepare for the RWC. We’re playing our strongest available teams (outside of the farce with QC). We just aren’t very good.

                ‘According to RA they cut a side cause they could not afford five teams’. Do we seriously believe that this was the only reason that they were cut? It is pretty clear that South Africa and New Zealand wanted us to cut a team.

              • Roar Guru

                May 13th 2018 @ 11:34am
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 13th 2018 @ 11:34am | ! Report

                But the Kiwis aren’t intentionally not playing their strongest team when they are uncompetitive and garbage, are they?
                They do. All AB’s players have to sit out two SR. And this coming weekend the Chiefs will have no AB’s available when they face the Sharks, hence they are on AB’s camp.

                It was mainly the broadcasters that told SANZAAR to cut teams. They are the only ones with that kind of power really, hence they pay for SR at the bone. Combine that with RA’s poor economy and the writing was on the wall,

              • May 13th 2018 @ 11:55am
                Fionn said | May 13th 2018 @ 11:55am | ! Report

                And if the Sunwolves were only resting their strongest teams for two rounds of Super Rugby, and were utterly dominant like the Kiwis, then that would be a different scenario. However, they aren’t and they’re not, and you know this.

                Perhaps the broadcasters wanted teams cut, but from what I’ve read New Zealand and South Africa (understandably from their point of view) wanted an Australian team cut also.

        • May 13th 2018 @ 9:59am
          Lion Brown said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:59am | ! Report

          So did WA or Melbourne ‘earn’ their right to be included in previous SR competitions ? – what a poor argument that is

          • May 13th 2018 @ 10:28am
            Ben said | May 13th 2018 @ 10:28am | ! Report

            Its not even an argument……

    • May 12th 2018 @ 10:51pm
      Snow Bjelke-Petersen said | May 12th 2018 @ 10:51pm | ! Report

      Cultural problems? The Smith brother’s are the Canaries in the coal mine.

    • May 12th 2018 @ 10:54pm
      Lara said | May 12th 2018 @ 10:54pm | ! Report

      Sunwolves played well in NZ . The signs were there.

      • Roar Guru

        May 13th 2018 @ 12:08am
        The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 13th 2018 @ 12:08am | ! Report

        Totally agree with that Lara. They competed really well with both Saders and Canes, so as soon as they faced an easier opponent a win was always in the cards.

        And what a performance by Parker. Sunwolves number 8 Himeno is a real quality player also. He was rookie of the year in the Top League last year and have taken the step up to SR in a very impressive way.

      • May 13th 2018 @ 8:31am
        woodart said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:31am | ! Report

        yes, sunwolves are a team on the up ,with fans that arent whiny quitters.

    • May 13th 2018 @ 12:08am
      Dennis Hopper Jr. said | May 13th 2018 @ 12:08am | ! Report

      Very happy for the loyal Sunwolves supporters, that must have felt wonderful.

      • May 15th 2018 @ 12:07am
        Ian said | May 15th 2018 @ 12:07am | ! Report

        Yep – it is. I’ve just started gong to see Sunwolves games, and they’re always a lot of fun. Great to see them finally get a win. Unfortunately I’m from Queensland:)

    • May 13th 2018 @ 2:20am
      Rhys Bosley said | May 13th 2018 @ 2:20am | ! Report

      I haven’t been following the Sunwolves but they looked like a team for whom it had all just come together. Their counter attacking off turnovers and offloading should in particular was outstanding, it really showed Joseph’s coaching is paying off. Good for them and their fans.

      I’m PO’d at the Reds for losing by so much though, there were at least three unforgivable individual defensive lapses that directly lead to tries and many more errors. I hope these players take appropriate professional responsibility for correcting where they went wrong, because they let a lot of people and themselves down today.

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