Highlanders pip Waratahs at Tens

By AAP,

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    The NSW Waratahs have come within seconds of ending Australia’s losing streak to New Zealand Super Rugby teams.

    It might have only been the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens but the heartbreak was real as a last-gasp try from Highlanders winger Tevita Nabura sealed a 12-10 victory at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

    The ‘Tahs looked on course to notch the first win by an Australian side over a Kiwi franchise in any format since the opening match of last year’s inaugural tens event. An embarrassing 21-0 whitewash in Super Rugby followed.

    It looked like the tide might have been turning as NSW backed up their 26-5 victory over French Top 14 outfit Pau earlier in the day with a strong start against the Highlanders, going 10-0 up after tries from Taqele Naiyaravoro and Cameron Clark

    But they couldn’t hold on, conceding two tries in the final three minutes in a deflating finish.

    It’s still hard to know how to interpret performances at the hit-and-giggle pre-season tournament, yet it appears the ‘Tahs are taking it seriously.

    Halfback Jake Gordon said they had a “point to prove” after a horror 2017, which included defeats at home to the Southern Kings and Jaguares.

    There were similarly mixed results for the other Australian teams on day one.

    As expected, Wallabies halfback Will Genia was denied a Brisbane homecoming and not risked by the Melbourne Rebels after suffering a lower back fracture at training.

    Instead, a no-name side got off to a bright start in the first match of the day, going 17-0 up over the Panasonic Wild Knights of Japan – but they didn’t score another point and lost 19-17 in a stirring comeback from the Robbie Deans-coached side.

    The Queensland Reds were smashed 29-7 by the Blues, who topped that by beating the Wild Knights 47-10 – the biggest margin in the tournament’s short history.

    The Reds looked to have recovered in their second game after a strong opening against the Rebels but twice surrendered the lead to lose 21-17.

    The ACT Brumbies clawed from behind to pip Fiji 17-12 in their first game but collapsed 31-7 against the Crusaders at night.

    Their best player was arguably 44-year-old wildcard Andrew Walker.

    Meanwhile, defending champions the Chiefs picked up right where they left off in the tens format, beating the Highlanders 17-12 before trouncing Pau 31-7.

    The Chiefs, Crusaders and Blues are the only unbeaten teams left, while the only losses suffered by the Highlanders and Hurricanes were to other New Zealand teams.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (18)

    • February 10th 2018 @ 1:54am
      Malo said | February 10th 2018 @ 1:54am | ! Report

      Bring Walker back to the wallaby squad . Tahs and Brumbies look good, reds and rebels can hold the spoon. Get some quality players.

    • February 10th 2018 @ 4:42am
      MH01 said | February 10th 2018 @ 4:42am | ! Report

      Any format . We got a men’s and women’s 7 team, they did okay in Sydney recently 😉

      • February 10th 2018 @ 9:35am
        Muzzo said | February 10th 2018 @ 9:35am | ! Report

        I think you’ll find that Super Rugby, is another level. This Ten’s tournament, is just a training run for some, as IMO, the game will step up, when the Super competition starts.

    • February 10th 2018 @ 7:03am
      concerned supporter said | February 10th 2018 @ 7:03am | ! Report

      Who is Mitch Short?
      Debit him with 14 points.

    • February 10th 2018 @ 7:22am
      Bluesfan said | February 10th 2018 @ 7:22am | ! Report

      Just watching Berrick Barnes play and you realize how much he is missed in Oz rugby.

      Imagine him with Matt Toomua @ 12 with Foley on the bench?

      • February 10th 2018 @ 7:41am
        Jamie said | February 10th 2018 @ 7:41am | ! Report

        There is a reading Barnes does play superb rugby anymore. He gets injured every second game, usually head concussion. He Doesn’t average to tackle as much in Japan.

    • February 10th 2018 @ 7:37am
      Cynical Play said | February 10th 2018 @ 7:37am | ! Report

      Young Tahs recruits doing well so far. Who’s that big bullocking No 8? Also, Latu at TH.. brilliant !! Seriously I’d forgotten how good at oveer-the-ball he is and his open field passing game. Jake Gordon looking slick

      • February 10th 2018 @ 11:23am
        Paul D said | February 10th 2018 @ 11:23am | ! Report

        Maybe Kelly Meafua if a Samoan?

    • February 10th 2018 @ 9:31am
      Muzzo said | February 10th 2018 @ 9:31am | ! Report

      Honestly, all this tournament, is about, is being a training run, for most of these squads. With the likes of “golden oldies’, Pita Alatini, Carlos Spencer, Andrew Walker, etc etc, playing. It does take the seriousness out of the competition, even though those mentioned, did play pretty well.
      There was the Saders, a team of no names, with none of their AB’s in the squad, last night, just showing how these young fellas are going to be a force to be reckoned with, this approaching season. Their demolition of a Brumbies side, that had a few current Wallabies turning out, was something special. A player to watch, is Todd Blackadder’s son Ethan, who showed out.
      It was noticeable, that after day one, that there were three unbeaten teams, all Kiwi teams.

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