The Brisbane Global Rugby Tens rolled into town for the second year with a slightly different format – afternoon and evening matches to counter the February heat. The crowd wasn’t large to start with, but Friday clock off saw more people roll through the gates. French team Pau and Fiji were playing in the competition for the first time and Japanese team Panasonic Wild Knights appeared again alongside all Kiwi and Australian teams.
Kurtley Beale and Nick Phipps were early withdrawals for the Waratahs before they even took the field for their first match.
Good jersey taste also appears to have made an exit, or never appeared at all. The Highlanders took the field in the most astonishing fluoro green jersey, Pau and the Chiefs appear to be wearing the same jersey, as do the Women’s Rebels and Brumbies teams.
And since Drew Mitchell is sitting in front of the media box right now with a beer in hand, he either isn’t making an appearance today for the Waratahs as a wildcard, or he will and it will be next level interesting, much like his appearance for the Classsic Wallabies at the Sydney 7s.
Momentum hopefully coming
There was a slow start to the impact of the tournament, even with it starting a little later.
There were some good rugby moments early on and it appears that the Panasonic Wild Knights are bringing their form and commitment from last year – scoring three unanswered tries in the second half to put one over on the Melbourne Rebels, winning by a conversion.
The Reds were underwhelming against the Blues, rarely making it out of their half let alone into the opposition 22. Players expected to make even some impact like Samu Kerevi didn’t and the young squad looked overwhelmed for most of the 20 minutes.
The Waratahs looked in fine form against Pau to take out their opening match 31-10. Pau certainly bought a star-studded lineup including Conrad Smith, Ben Mowen and wildcard Carl Hayman. To no avail as the Tahs ran in tries consistently and confidently. They may well be the fittest they’ve been in pres-season :) (sans rope of course).
The Chiefs v Highlanders match bought the intensity and professionalism you would expect from the Kiwi teams. A disallowed try 4 minutes after the hooter was controversial and saw the Chiefs run out winners in their first match in Pool B.
For the first time this year there was an expanded Brisbane Tens Women’s Tournament with each of the Australian Super Rugby franchises fielding a team. NSW Women were brilliantly solid against QLD Women with Sammi Treherene for QLD and Grace Hamilton for NSW scoring two absolutely beautiful tries. NSW ran out convincing winners 19-5.
The second match saw the Brumbies Women match up against the Rebels Women in a close match. An early try to the Rebels was matched by the Brumbies who then ran away with the match 17-7.
It counts and it doesn’t count, so far.
Depending on which side of the ditch you sit the Brisbane Tens is a good indicator or a fun tournament that isn’t an indicator.
For Reds fans it looks like we continue our form of not being able to match skill or finishing ability. We rely on other results falling our way to make it out of the pool. Urgh.
For Waratahs fans it looks like a good win and a close loss – enough to give hope in the year ahead with some exciting players on the rise. Not dissimilar to previous years.
For Rebels fans they probably didn’t convince much in either their close loss or their close win, but still early days and it must be quite a feat to integrate all those Force players :).
For the Kiwi teams the shellacking by the Crusaders of the Hurricanes will perhaps have been a bit of a shock.
The Results: Day One
Wild Knights 19 def Rebels 17
Blues 29 def Reds 7
Waratahs 31 def Pau 10
Chiefs 17 def Highlanders 12
Brumbies 17 def Fiji 12
Crusaders 22 def Hurricanes 0
Blues 47 def Wild Knights 10
Rebels 21 def Reds 17
Chiefs 31 def Pau 7
Highlanders 12 def Waratahs 10
Hurricanes 12 def Fiji 7
Crusaders 31 def Brumbies 7
About 11,000 came through the gate. To be honest, a really disappointing crowd number that should have been higher based on the expectation of people coming after work.
The Day One Verdict
The Kiwi teams once again looking solid, the Aussie teams all over the shop. Try-saver of the day belongs to the brilliant Sammie Treherne for the QLD Womens.