Brache hat-trick silences Sunwolves

Marcel Brache scored a 20-minute hat-trick as the Force produced a big victory over the Sunwolves in Tokyo, in the end winning 40-22.

Star winger Akihito Yamada had in fact opened the scoring for the Sunwolves, but once Brache struck for the those three tries and Brynard Stander had gone in for a fourth in the first half, it never looked like the hosts could snatch the result.

Tries have been a problem all season for the Force but they were in their element here in Tokyo, finishing with six tries to their name as they secured just a second win of the year, and their first since defeating the Reds back on March 5.

Those local supporters might have been frustrated to see the Sunwolves miss out on securing their own second win in their debut season, but they were treated to a feast of tries.

A defensive masterpiece it certainly wasn't, however the Sunwolves deserve credit for the way they battled back against a huge deficit.

Yamada and Brache traded early scores before the Force wing doubled his tally after some fine work from Kyle Godwin, making a rare start this season for the Force in midfield, with Ian Prior converting to make it 14-5.

Soon after Brache had his hat-trick, Prior this time the provider as his fine pass picked out the winger to add try number three inside 20 minutes.

Building off that early momentum the Force soon make it four through Stander, the flanker finishing off a break from in-form full-back Dane Haylett-Petty as the Force advanced to lead 26-5 thanks to a third conversion from Prior.

Discipline cost the Sunwolves as they closed out the rest of the first half looking for a way back into a contest they were trailing 26-5 by the break.

The Force's intensity levels noticeably dropped off at the start of the second half, or at least appeared to after they conceded a couple of penalties, but try number five wasn't far away.

Their vital number eight Ben McCalman was the man to get it, Junior Rasolea's burst through the defence followed up by some great work by Godwin before McCalman crossed the line.

At 33-5 the Sunwolves looked on course for a heavy thrashing but Tusi Pisi's try stemmed the tide and they never lay down, picking up their game in the final quarter.

Derek Carpenter's score from close range with ten minutes to go made it 33-15, with Yu Tamura like Pisi earlier unable to convert, before the Force took the air out of the Sunwolves' fightback with a long-range interception score for Angus Cottrell.

The Sunwolves though had the final say – Yamada grabbing his second try after good work from John Stewart, on debut, with an offload as the Sunwolves not only grabbed their fourth try, but denied the Force a try bonus point as well in the process.

The scorers:

For Sunwolves:
Tries: Yamada 2, Pisi, Carpenter
Con: Tamara

For Force:
Tries: Brache 3, Stander, McCalman, Cottrell
Cons: Prior 4, Grant

Sunwolves: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Derek Carpenter, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 John Stewart, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Kaito Shigeno, 8 Ed Quirk, 7 Andrew Durutalo, 6 Liaki Moli, 5 Fa’atiga Lemalu, 4 Hitoshi Ono, 3 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 2 Shota Horie (c), 1 Masataka Mikami
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Ziun Gu, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Yoshiya Hosoda, 20 Taiyo Ando, 21 Atsushi Hiwasa, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Mifiposeti Paea

Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Solomoni Rasolea, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Ian Prior, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Guy Millar, 2 Harry Scoble, 1 Francois van Wyk
Replacements: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Sitiveni Mafi, 20 Angus Cottrell, 21 Ryan Louwrens, 22 Peter Grant, 23 Semisi Masirewa

Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Referees: Paul Williams, Aki Aso
TMO: Takashi Hareda