The Sunwolves surrendered eight tries in a humiliating 52-0 Super Rugby defeat on Friday night to the New Zealand-based Highlanders.
Playing in chilly rain at Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground, the Sunwolves’ pack was overpowered at every opportunity as the Highlanders’ forwards made a mockery of the host team’s scrums.
“We couldn’t get going, couldn’t play our game and in the second half we couldn’t keep up with them,” Sunwolves lock Luke Thompson said.
“Our scrum was a little too passive and you can’t be passive against a good team. We have to play our Sunwolves’ style of rugby, and the Highlanders just took that away from us in the first 40 minutes.”
While the Sunwolves tackled poorly, the Highlanders never let the Sunwolves’ high-octane attack get started, holding the hosts scoreless for the first time in franchise history.