Waratahs crush Sunwolves in Super Rugby clash

Waratahs crush Sunwolves in Super Rugby clash

The NSW Waratahs routed Japan's Sunwolves 57-12 on Saturday as its powerful defence held off the Super Rugby newcomers with no try.

The Waratahs scored nine tries, including two each by winger Reece Robinson and scrumhalf Matt Lucas, at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium in Tokyo, tying with the Brumbies at the top of the Australian Conference table.

The 2014 champions got off to a good start as Rob Horne broke the Sunwolves defence and Lucas crossed the opening try.

The Sunwolves at one point turned the match around with standoff Yu Tamura kicking a penalty after Taqele Naijaravoro of the Waratahs was yellow carded for a cynical foul.

But hopes of the Sunwolves' earning their second victory of the season faded quickly as the Waratahs easily outscored their hosts and widened the winning margin steadily toward the end of the match.

Tamura admitted the Waratahs had the upper hand over his novice club.

"The game displayed the difference in experience," Tamura said.

The Sunwolves' defeat came days after the team announced that coach Mark Hammett will leave the Tokyo-based club at the end of the season.

The 43-year-old, who has endured a troubled first season with the Sunwolves in the southern hemisphere's premier club competition, will return to New Zealand to take up a role as assistant coach of the Otago Highlanders.

Hammett's appointment by the Sunwolves was one of several to be made alarmingly late, giving the side very little time to prepare for the 2016 campaign.

As widely predicted, the Sunwolves have struggled badly, compiling a record of one win, one draw and 11 defeats after Saturday's match.