News recently broke that the Sunwolves would no longer be part of the Super Rugby competition as of 2021 when the format reverts back to 14 teams in a round robin system. This news however seems to have left the Sunwolves camp unperturbed at present as they recorded a magnificent win over the Waratahs on Friday morning.
The Sunwolves came out on top of the contest, winning 31-29 against the hosts. With four tries and a penalty apiece, it was the Waratahs one missed conversion that was telling at the end of the day. The Waratahs would have entered the game full of confidence after beating the Crusaders last week but as the Chiefs found out earlier this season, the Sunwolves aren’t the pushovers they once were.
Sunwolves left wing Semisi Masirewa dotted down three times to give his side the edge in a back and forth contest and helped the Sunwolves win only their second game away from home since they joined the competition.
Israel Folau was poised to snatch the Super Rugby try scoring record for himself in this game as he currently shares same with Doug Howlett. However it was not to be as the Waratahs man saw little ball and even less space in light of the Sunwolves rush defence.
Whilst the loss leaves the Waratahs in 3rd place on the overall log, the Sunwolves have now moved up two places and lie ahead of both the Chiefs and Jaguares who will face off tomorrow. The Waratahs will now need a big victory against the Blues to stave off the challenges for conference honours from both the Brumbies and Rebels respectively.
Whilst the future for the Sunwolves looks bleak in the long term, the team is growing in 2019 and playing some enterprising rugby which has rugby neutrals taking notice. Should they maintain such standards it will be difficult for the governing bodies involved in the running of Super Rugby to justify their exclusion. It may have taken some time, but the very point of including a team from Asia was to grow the game in those regions and it is just starting to bear fruit.
Written by: Nicholas Halsey
Image credit: Zimbio