A late drop-goal saw the Sunwolves claim a dramatic 26-23 victory against the DHL Stormers in a sweltering Hong Kong on Saturday.
The scores were level at 23-23 with time up on the clock when Sunwolves flyhalf Hayden Parker slotted the drop-goal that secured the win.
The match was played in extreme heat in the middle of the day and could have gone either way in the end.
The DHL Stormers showed great character on defence in the early stages, soaking up the pressure from their hosts before striking back on the counter-attack.
Wing Dillyn Leyds picked up a loose ball in his own half and sprinted away, jinking and dummying his way to the corner before somehow placing the ball on the tryline and scoring as he was being tackled into touch.
The DHL Stormers were enjoying a clear advantage in the scrums and made that pressure count as centre JJ Engelbrecht made an interception in Sunwolves territory, before powering away to score the second try.
The Sunwolves got on the scoreboard as the ball bounced up nicely for Parker to go over for the try.
The DHL Stormers responded with a third try and Leyds’ second as he followed up on a great attacking grubber from scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage.
The Sunwolves had the final say in the first half through a Parker penalty, but it was the DHL Stormers who took a 17-10 advantage into the half-time break.
The home side made a determined start to the second half and the pressure eventually told as lock Grant Hattingh broke through to score, levelling things up at 17-17 with 25 minutes left to play.
Another Parker penalty put the Sunwolves in the lead for the first time in the match, but the DHL Stormers were back on level terms soon afterwards with a penalty from fullback SP Marais.
The teams traded penalties once more, before Parker slotted a dramatic drop-goal to claim the win for his team.
For DHL Stormers:
Tries: Leyds 2, Engelbrecht
Con: Du Plessis
Pens: Marais 2
Tries: Parker, Hattingh
Cons: Parker 2
Pens: Parker 4
DHL Stormers: 15 SP Marais, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Carlu Sadie, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Raymond Rhule.
Sunwolves: 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Kenki Fukuoka, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Michael Little, 11 Akihito Yamada, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Edward Quirk (c), 6 Michael Leitch, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Shintaro Ishihara.
Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze 17 Craig Millar, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 21 Yutaka Nagare, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Jason Emery.