Sunwolves lifted by attention to detail

Focus on eliminating mistakes brings a new air of confidence as team aim for their best finish

It may be only two wins in a Super Rugby season blighted by 10 defeats but the Sunwolves are now brimming with confidence. After all, they have won in back-to-back match days - a 63-28 thumping of the Reds on May 12 and a 26-23 win over the Stormers a week later - for the first time in their history.

Prior to this term, the Sunwolves had just three victories across two seasons and 30 games since their entry into Super Rugby in 2016.

Even the recent 40-13 loss to the Rebels on May 25 has not dampened the mood in the Sunwolves camp as they aim to finish their campaign on a high.

There are four games left - including a June 30 clash against the Bulls at the Singapore Sports Hub - and Sunwolves captain Willie Britz puts his team's improvement down to the eradication of errors.

"The players have been there every week and playing good footy every week, so that didn't really change," the 29-year-old loose forward told The Sunday Times.

"But just getting rid of those soft moments in the games - we had a lot of them at the start of the season - and we've just tried to eliminate those during the season.

"The less mistakes we make and the more we dominate in the games, set pieces and rucks, that works better for us. We've been nailing that a bit more - sticking to our game plan and nailing those small little things."

Sunwolves assistant coach Tony Brown said the results are vindication of all the work put in.

"We've been working really hard all year, and to finally get a win just adds real confidence to the team," noted the former All Black.

"Then to be able to back it up with another one - as coaches, that's all we ask for; consistency in performance - and (those) two games have been outstanding."

The Sunwolves are last in the 15-team table and while their target of a top-five finish looks a long shot at best, Britz remains optimistic.

"If we can win the last four games, if we can get 20 points out of those four games, why not? It's definitely possible, and we definitely have the players and the management and the coaches to do it, so we're really excited for it," he said. "That's still the goal for us, and we'll work our butts off to get there."

The Sunwolves face the Brumbies (12th overall as of yesterday) today before hosting the Bulls (11th) in Singapore. They then play the Waratahs (third) on July 7 before a rematch against the Reds (13th) six days later.

Britz said: "We always give our best for 80 minutes, and we promise the fans that we'll continue to give that. Singapore is another home for us, and we get really good support there, and we're looking forward to seeing the people and the city again."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 03, 2018, with the headline 'Sunwolves lifted by attention to detail'. Print Edition | Subscribe