Sunwolves bracing themselves for Sharks attack
Japanese outfit eyeing a win to end their final match in Singapore this season
Singapore's adopted home team HITO-Communications Sunwolves will take on South African outfit Sharks at the National Stadium tonight as Super Rugby 2017 returns for the third and final match here this year.
The Sunwolves' last match had ended in a 46-39 defeat by Argentine side Jaguares on May 7 - their ninth defeat in 10 games this season.
Coach Filo Tiatia said that they have to be ready for the physical presence of the opponents, and admitted that they will be facing another difficult assignment against the Sharks, who have won seven from 11 fixtures.
The former All Black said: "We know the Sharks are a very ambitious and young team, and we know how tough a game it will be.
"We have been reflecting on many things - mainly on our skills execution and game plan.
"It's the first time they are playing here and we are really excited that they are here."
The Sunwolves' earlier two matches at the National Stadium in March had ended in losses - 37-23 to the Southern Kings and 44-31 to the Stormers.
But it is not all doom and gloom for the Japanese outfit.
Last month, they picked up a shock 21-20 victory over South African team Bulls, who were champions in 2007, 2009 and 2010.
This is the last opportunity to win in Singapore. We'd like to execute what we would like to execute.Co-captain of the Sunwolves, Harumichi Tatekawa
In their last match against Jaguares, they also scored five tries.
Co-captain of the Sunwolves, Harumichi Tatekawa, who missed the fixtures against the Kings and the Stormers here due to a knee injury, is fired up to lead his team to victory.
He said: "I am so glad to get back to the Sunwolves after not playing for a while.
"I can clearly see that we are getting better and better after each game but, at the same time I am sort of regretful that I was not able to participate (in the previous games in Singapore)."
"This is the last opportunity to win in Singapore.
"We'd like to execute what we would like to execute."
Tiatia feels the return of Tatekawa is a big boost to his team, and believes that his leadership will be crucial in tonight's assignment.
He said: "We got our leader back and the captain for the side.
"I don't want to embarrass Haru but he is a man of character and true honesty. You can see it in the way he plays and the way he presents himself.
"We have a really good leader here."
As for his game plan against the Sharks, who lost to the Kings 35-32 last weekend, Tiatia is keeping his cards close to his chest.
He said: "You'll see it tomorrow. The team and especially the leaders are driven, and we are playing in one of the hardest competitions in the world."
The match between the Sunwolves and the Sharks starts at 7.55pm tonight.
* Tickets for the 2017 Super Rugby matches are available at www.sportshubtix.sg, hotline +65 3158 7888, Sports Hub Tix Box Office at Singapore Indoor Stadium and all SingPost outlets.