The Sunwolves have claimed a 42-37 victory over South Africa's Bulls in a see-saw Super Rugby clash at Singapore National Stadium on Saturday, with loose forward Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco scoring the decisive try five minutes from full-time.
Neither side is in the frame for a playoff place, but the Sunwolves will be delighted with the victory against a muscular Bulls pack. The victory is a third in a row at home for the Japanese side, and that illustrates their improvement in the Southern Hemisphere provincial championship this year.
The home side also scored tries via fly-half Hayden Parker, scrum-half Keisuke Uchida, fullback Gerhard van den Heever, flanker Willie Britz and centre Michael Little, while the Bulls' scores came from centre Jesse Kriel (two), fly-half Handre Pollard and prop Conraad van Vuuren.
The Sunwolves made an excellent start as they raced into a 14-point lead inside 19 minutes.
Parker crossed in the corner after an excellent break from Little, before a training-ground move from the lineout saw hooker Jaba Bregvadze receive the ball back from the set-piece and sent Uchida away to score against an unsuspecting Bulls defence.
The Bulls began to flex their muscles, and dominated territory and possession in the remainder of first half.
Kriel scored his first try when he charged down a clearance kick and collected the ball to score under the posts, and he then grabbed another opportunistic score.
The Sunwolves tried to take a quick lineout throw in their own 22, but the ball was sent long and evaded the home players and sat up perfectly for Kriel to score a second under the posts.
The Bulls posted their third try just a minute before the break as Pollard scythed his way through a weak defence that was a man short after a yellow card for South African-born Britz, and the visitors were good value for their 21-14 lead at half-time after picking up the pace of the game midway through the opening period.
The Bulls extended their lead early in the second half when Pollard kicked a penalty from in front, but the home side hit back with an excellent try in the corner.
Parker's inside pass to Semisi Masirewa split the Bulls defence, and the winger fed South African Van den Heever to cross in the corner.
The visitors kept up the heat and Van Vuuren, who had been denied a try earlier when he was somewhat controversially adjudged to have knocked the ball on, cantered over unchallenged after some slick passing following a lineout.
Britz profited from a defensive error from the visitors to cross just minutes after he returned to the field from the sin-bin.
Pollard kicked another penalty to make the Bulls' lead six points, but the Sunwolves swept the length of the field to grab the lead once more as Little finished a superb move.
The Bulls grabbed the lead again when Pollard converted after the Television Match Official ruled against the Sunwolves when replacement scrumhalf Andre Warner was adjudged to have knocked the ball on in the act of scoring a try.
But the Sunwolves made a decisive play as replacement loose-forward Warren-Vosayaco was not held in the tackle and he got to his feet to score under the posts.