Blues coach Tana Umaga

Umaga takes blame for Tokyo blue

 With both teams out of playoff contention, the last-placed Japanese side scored eight tries to three and ran the woeful visitors ragged on their way to a commanding 48-21 victory on a scorching afternoon in Tokyo on Saturday.

The Sunwolves, who had just one other win this year and came into the match having conceded 146 points in two big losses in South Africa, trailed by 14 towards the end of the first half before rattling off 41 unanswered points and keeping the visitors scoreless in the second spell.

Umaga says Super uncertainty to blame for Aussie woe

A 40-33 victory for Umaga's Blues over the NSW Waratahs in Sydney and the Chiefs' 46-17 thrashing of the Queensland Reds in New Plymouth extended New Zealand's collective winning streak over Australian teams in the competition to 23 matches - and 17 this season.

Only a massive upset in any of the eight remaining trans-Tasman home-and-away fixtures can deny the New Zealand dominators a 25-0 clean sweep of their Australian counterparts in 2017.

Umaga suspects the ongoing uncertainty around which Australian team will be cut from the competition in 2018 is taking its toll.