Kia Ora and welcome to Tokyo for an epic Super Rugby match between the Sunwolves and the Blues.
The Blues are out for vengeance after the Sunwolves beat the Auckland side last year in the final match of the season.
LIVE COMMENTARY (BE SURE TO REFRESH YOUR BROWSER)
FULLTIME: BLUES 24 SUNWOLVES 10: Blues pushed hard for a final try but the ref blues for fulltime and they're back in the winner's circle. They were pushed hard by the Sunwolves but pulled away in the second half to claim a very important away victory. It wasn't a clinical performance by any means, but remember, the Japanese side were the winners of the tie last year. Thanks for joining us and be sure to tune in later for live updates of the Highlanders taking on the Brumbies.
76mins: TRY BLUES - Jordan Hyland: That's a double for the debutant winger. Clinical attack from the Blues..a ton of pressure on the Sunwolves defence..eventually Ioane flings a long pass out to the winger and he crosses over untouched. Blues 24-10.
75mins: Akira Ioane has had a try disallowed for a knock on over the line. Blues back in possesion.
73mins: Blues with a scrum 5m.
71mins: Blues on the attack. 20m out from the tryline through 6 phases.
68mins: Great defence from the Blues. Sunwolves attack going nowhere. Lomano Lemeki is held up in the tackle and that's ruled a maul and the homeside can't get the ball back. Defensive scrum for the Blues.
65mins: Game is becoming a bit messy as replacements flood the field. Blues with possesion now inside Sunwolves territory as the break down the left hand side through Moulds. they win a penalty after Little takes out Tuipolotu....there is a TMO review here..Pauliasi Manu took out a defender with a shoulder and he may march for this. Nope just a penalty..gee wiz he should have copped a yellow for that.
64mins: Sunwolves have an attacking scrum on the Blues 22....but a huge scrum from the Blues and they win a penalty. Big moment that. Perofeta clears to halfway.
60mins: Sunwolves go so close. Masirewa makes the bust through the middle.....offloading like crazy and the look certain to score but Little throws it straight to Jimmy Tupou on cover and the Blies clear. they should have scored there the homeside.
55mins: TRY BLUES - Dalton Papali'i : Brilliant! Great attack from the Blues. Again retaining possesion well. Through 8 phases and Leger makes a bust in midfield, Ruru fires the ball out to replacement flanker Papali'u and he sets off like a rocket from 30m out, runs through some weak defence and scores a superb try. Blues 19-10.
53mins: The Black Sticks have won gold against Australia in the GC. 4-1 the final score. Back here in Tokyo and the Blues have an attacking lineout on the Sunwolves 22.
49mins: TRY BLUES: Akira Ioane - Brilliant rugby from the Blues. Good phase play..not rushing anything...7 phases they played through until a lovely pass from perofeta found Akira Ioane who was hanging out on the left wing and he bumped off three Sunwolves tacklers and ran 30m to score under the post. Blues 12-10.
48mins: Scrum penalty for the Blues. Collins with a hefty kick finds touch 30m out from the Sunwolves tryline.
46mins: Sunwolves on the attack now...mistake in possesion from Matt Duffie. Through 4 phases the homeside and Akira Ioane wins a turnover but then loses the ball right back. Sunwolves playing under a scrum advantage and that's what they settle for. Phew! Crazy play.
43mins: Rieko Ioane busts through in midfield and finds Hyland who is surging towards the line but great covering tackle from the fullback. Turnover Sunwolves as the Blues go close. They earn the penalty and clear to halfway.
41mins: Worst box kick I have ever seen from Ruru goes backwards inside his 22 but lost forward by the Sunwolves. Blues working the ball back up-field through their forwards, Prior and Akira Ioane doing well.
Second half: Sunwolves first-five Yu Tamura to get us back underway for the second 40 minutes.
Halftime: So we head to the sheds wih a passionate Sunwolves holding a slender 5-point lead. The started superbly, putting the Blues under intense pressure from the outset. After 25 minutes or so the New Zealand side got back into it and scored a nice try through the impressive Hyland. Good 40-minutes of rugby between two fairly even sides..yes I said it. Be back in a tick.
39mins: Blues looking to finish the half well here. They have a defensive lineout 22m out. Must clear here and the do through Ruru. Sunwolves bring the ball back.
36mins: Ouch! Huge spot tackle in midfield by masirewa on Perofeta and te Sunwolves get the ball back...banged down field by Tamura and the Blues will start again.
34mins: Blues have earned a penalty 5m out. Good defence from the Sunwolves. Blues on the attack now for a good five minutes. Opting for a scrum 5m rather than an easy three-points.
32mins: Blues attacking with more precision now. Getting more ball and ball retention is better. 10m out through 5 phases.
27mins: TRY BLUES: Jordan Hyland - great reply from the Blues. Good ball retention for the first time today. Perofeta creating havoc..flicks a lovely pass away to Hyland who bumps off three defebders to crash over in the corner. Sunwolves 10-5.
26mins: Blues win the turnover this time and away goes Perofeta..good 50m run from the playmaker. Blues on attack 20m out through 6 phases.
25mins: Penalty after penalty at the breakdown. Sunwolves absolutley owning the Blues at the breakdown. Everytime the Auckland franchise get the ball back they have defenders in theor face and seven guys in the tackle fetching the ball. Sunwolves on attack again 20m out through 8 phases.
23mins: Blues on the attack after nice play from Akira Ioane but Tuipolotu is pinged for sealing the ball off at the tackle and the Sunwolves have a clearing penalty. Tamura back on for Parker after passing his HIA.
21mins: TRY SUNWOLVES: Timothy Lafaele: Superb try. As mentioned, winning every ruck and playing at speed...Break came from Michael Little, he finds Parker he offloads brilliantly to Lafaele and that's a deserved 10-point lead for the hosts. Sunwolves 10-0.
20mins: Sunwolves pack is bossing their Blues counterparts...winning the tackle and making ground at ease.
18mins: Finally the Blues have an attacking opportunity. Lineout on the Sunwolves 22. Parsons to throw....but you guessed it..knocked on by Prior and the Sunwolves have a defensive scrum.
15mins: Well defended by the Blues. Sacked the lineout nicely. They now have a 22m drop out as Perofeta gets us nack underway.
13mins: Still all Sunwolves. Lineout 5m from the Blues line. Tuipolotu is back on .
10mins: Tamura is off for a HIA test. Hayden Parker on for the time-being.
8mins: Scrum for the Blues on halfway. They are having all sorts of problems on attack to start. Sunwolves living on the offside line but all power to them.
6mins: Sunwolves all over the Blues early. Heavy defence is causing serious issues for the Blues attack and the hosts are also attacking with purpose. Tamura kicks the ball away however and it's poor...Perofeta clears and it's a lineout on halfway for the Blues...ball was touched in flight.
3mins: PENALTY GOAL SUNWOLVES: Yu Tamura with a nice kick from 35m out to put the hists in front. Sunwolves 3-0.
2mins: Helter-skelter first few minutes. Both sides throwing the ball around at will. Sunwolves looking to make some heavy tackles. Tuipolotu might be in trouble here...no arms tackle and slightly late. Yep he cops a yellow card.
Kick-off: Perofeta gets the game underway.
3.01pm: Overcast in Tokyo. Blues have bad memories from last year with the 48-21 loss they suffered at the end of last season.
1. Craig Millar, 2. Shota Horie, 3. Jiwon Koo, 4. James Moore, 5. Grant Hattingh, 6. Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 7. Lappies Labuschagne, 8. Kazuki Himeno, 9. Yutaka Nagare (c), 10. Yu Tamura, 11. Lomano Lemeki, 12. Michael Little, 13. Timothy Lafaele, 14. Semisi Masirewa, 15. Kotaro Matsushima
Replacements: 16. Jaba Bregvadze, 17. Shintaro Ishihara, 18. Nikoloz Khatiashvili, 19. Wimpie van der Walt, 20. Willie Britz, 21. Fumiaki Tanaka, 22. Hayden Parker, 23. William Tupou
1. Pauliasi Manu 2. James Parsons (c) 3. Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 4. Patrick Tuipulotu, 5. Josh Goodhue, 6. Jimmy Tupou, 7. Kara Pryor, 8. Akira Ioane, 9. Jonathan Ruru, 10. Stephen Perofeta, 11. Matt Duffie, 12. Rieko Ioane, 13. Orbyn Leger, 14. Jordan Hyland, 15. Michael Collins
Replacements: 16. Matt Moulds, 17. Ross Wright, 18. Mike Tamoaieta, 19. Ben Neenee, 20. Dalton Papali’i, 21. Sam Nock, 22. Bryn Gatland, 23. TJ Faiane
Sunwolves 47-21 Blues
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Shuhei Kubo (Japan), Tasuku Kawahara (Japan)
TMO: Minoru Fuji (Japan)