Sunwolves - The team that won the hearts of many
There were mixed views on the inclusion of a Japan-based team to join Super Rugby back in 2016 but since their participation and remarkable improvement since joining the competition, the Sunwolves have gained many fans the world over.
The Sunwolves confirmed that Monday (June 1) officially spells the end of the road for the Japanese franchise after talks with Rugby Australia fell through due to travel restrictions.
The Asian representatives came close on two occasions in their opening five Super Rugby matches to claiming their first victory, losing narrowly to the Cheetahs (31-32), the Bulls (27-30) and the Southern Kings (28-33).
However, after three consecutive matches in South Africa, they returned to Tokyo to take on fellow Super Rugby newcomers, the Jaguares of Argentina, in Round Nine – and what a game it turned out to be.
Trailing the Jaguares 13-18 at the break, it was a late try by Harumichi Tatekawa that sent the Tokyo crowd into hysteria as they recorded their first-ever Super Rugby victory.
As they progressed in the competition, they added some big names to their belts.
In 2017, they beat the Bulls (21-20) and the Blues (48-21). They added the Stormers (26-23) and Reds (63-28) in 2018 before the Waratahs (31-29) and Chiefs (30-15) in 2019, were the last to be defeated.
Sunwolves 21-20 Bulls (2017), Sunwolves 48-21 Blues (2017), Sunwolves 26-23 Stormers (2018), Sunwolves 63-28 Reds (2018), Waratahs 29-31 Sunwolves (2019), Chiefs 15-30 Sunwolves (2019)
Re-live that match below…
Source: All Blacks