The Hurricanes’ road to defeat in Brisbane

Adam Julian Roar Guru

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    For the first time since 2003 the Blues have won a Super Rugby trophy. The perennial underachievers from Auckland beat the Hurricanes 10-7 in the Brisbane 10s final to capture the preseason title for the first time.

    Two vital mistakes cost the Hurricanes victory. Ahead 7-0 with three minutes remaining Brayden Iose conceded a cynical penalty that allowed the Blues to march into the Hurricanes 22 and strike out wide via Akira Ioane.

    In the final minute Jamie Booth lost the ball ten metres shy of his own goal line and the Blues mounted a final assault that saw George Mola stretch out in the corner after initially being restrained.

    Alex Fidow earlier nudged the Hurricanes ahead when he scored a try from a slick lineout manoeuvre. Jackson Garden-Bachop covered impressively from the sideline.

    Moments of quality were sparse as both teams’ tough tackling and poor handling resulted in a mostly forgettable spectacle.

    (AAP Image/ David Rowland)

    The Hurricanes were resurgent for most of day two. Ironically it was a star turn by Booth in the semi-final which reversed the Hurricanes’ embarrassing first-day defeat to the Crusaders. The diminutive halfback scored two outstanding tries as they eliminated the tournament favourites 14-10.

    Booth’s second try regathering a chip and chase over 40 metres was a candidate for the best try of the tournament. George Bridge and Manasa Mataele were the Crusaders’ try-scorers, but the Super Rugby champions never led at any stage.

    The Hurricanes scored two tries in the opening minute of the second half to eliminate the Waratahs 35-24 in the quarter-finals. Alex Newsome snatched an intercept to propel the Aussies into an early lead, but the Hurricanes bounced back with quick tries to Losi Filipo and Ben Lam to seize the lead at the interval. The Filipo strike was particularly eye-catching, involving half a dozen players in the build-up.

    Peter Umaga-Jensen, via an intercept, and Du’Plessis Kirifi, supporting a bust by the evergreen Trent Renata, ensured the Waratahs were playing catch up for the remainder of the contest.

    The final Hurricanes try was a beauty. Filipo smoked Wallabies veteran Drew Mitchell, jolting the ball free from Mitchell’s grasp and allowing Malo Tuitama to snaffle and dash 40 metres.

    (AAP Image/SNPA, Ross Setford)

    Two tries by Alex Fidow ensured the Hurricanes passage to the quarter-finals, edging the Brumbies 12-10 in their final Pool C match to finish second in the group.

    The Hurricanes fell behind early with Jordan Jackson-Hope darting over, but Fidow, ranging wide with aplomb, crossed a minute either side of each half to give the Hurricanes a winning lead in a tight tussle. Julian Savea engineered the second try by drawing in two defenders in a determined, weaving run.

    The Hurricanes were lucky to score zero in their first match. A comedy of errors was punished by a typically efficient Crusaders outfit. The misery started in the opening minute for the Hurricanes when Garden-Bachop was yellow carded for a misjudged intercept and Nathan Vella rumbled over from a maul following the penalty.

    The kick-off went through the hands of Julian Savea and into touch, which allowed the Crusaders to build pressure again. Ethan Blackadder doubled the Southerners’ lead.

    (AAP Image/SNPA, Ross Setford)

    The Hurricanes finally strung together multiple phases a minute prior to half-time, but a fumble led to a try at the opposite end for Crusaders skipper George Bridge.

    Vella completed a double in the second spell when a wicked bounce from a kick favoured the Crusaders creating the space for another 90-metre breakout. Booth was the pick of the Hurricanes, exhibiting plenty of enthusiasm in an otherwise lacklustre roster.

    The Hurricanes edged Fiji 12-5 in their second match. A pinpoint cross-kick by Garden-Bachop located James O’Reilly unmarked on the wing. Some sparkling footwork by Jone Manu sparked a Fijian response, but Ben Lam was able to muscle over for a late winner.

    The Blues Caleb Clarke was named player of the tournament. He scored five tries in six games and is the son of former Blues and All Black centre Eroni Clarke.

    A positive for all 12 teams was the chance to audition fringe talent and build chemistry for the long season ahead. However, the small crowds, oppressive heat, largely uninspired and confused play combined with a genuine lack of stars in all squads suggests the event doesn’t enjoy a bright future.

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    The Crowd Says (23)

    • February 11th 2018 @ 8:57am
      Katipo said | February 11th 2018 @ 8:57am | ! Report

      Brisbane Tens is not a Super Rugby trophy.

      I agree this tournament has no future. Tens looks like bad league. There were very few structured or creative plays, just predictable run pass and hope. Not enough scoring. Games were too long.

      The Hurricanes wearing blue uniforms against the Waratahs and Blues added to the lack of colour at the tournament. I couldn’t tell which team was which actually.

      Sevens is infinitely better I think.

      • February 11th 2018 @ 9:55am
        dopplerman said | February 11th 2018 @ 9:55am | ! Report

        It’s really only considered by teams as a pre season training exercise where fans and players have a bit of fun and get to see new faces etc …. No one takes it too seriously

      • February 11th 2018 @ 10:08am
        Muzzo said | February 11th 2018 @ 10:08am | ! Report

        True Katipo, as Seven’s is far better organised, as we have seen, with the recent World Series.

        • February 11th 2018 @ 10:55am
          Taylormam said | February 11th 2018 @ 10:55am | ! Report

          Yeah I’m split on that one, I enjoyed it. The Sevens is always full of no names and I think that’s it’s biggest failing, there were more test players in this tournament and between them I think we could have picked two or three sevens sides from the NZ sides capable of beating the NZ sevens side for that reason.

          I actually preferred it, not cos the Blues won but because it gave equal opportunity for attack and defence. In sevens one slip and you’re gone. Here you could at least regroup on defence and the attacks had to be more complex to succeed.

          • February 11th 2018 @ 12:20pm
            Redsfan1 said | February 11th 2018 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

            7s is a specialist sport. They train and play differently. There’s no comparison between 10s and 7s- 7s is light years ahead in speed.

            We all know what happened when NZ and Aussie tried to throw in 15s players at the Olympics…

            • February 11th 2018 @ 12:54pm
              Taylormam said | February 11th 2018 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

              Quality of player wise they’re different levels. Our sevens players are mostly either juniors or out of mitre 10 who can’t nail Super contracts. Wouldn’t take much to get guys like Moala, Clarke, Tevita Li etc knocking over our sevens side after a few tournaments.

              • February 11th 2018 @ 4:15pm
                cuw said | February 11th 2018 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

                maybe they shud have a 7S tournament for the super teams , which will be better fun and also prove to be better for fitness and perhaps cause less injuries.

                each team put out 2 sides of 12 each. so that is 18 teams. add a team from say Fiji and Samoa to make it 20 teams.

                then make 4 pools and play in the same structure like the world series with 3 trophies on offer.

                perhaps the only downside maybe , some of the very slow forwards ( comparatively ) may not get game time.

    • February 11th 2018 @ 10:05am
      Muzzo said | February 11th 2018 @ 10:05am | ! Report

      Yep what was really noticeable, was the lack of established & international players, especially from the New Zealand teams input. We only have to look at the Saders for instance, with their squad, having an average age of about 21 – 22. What these Sader youngsters achieved was remarkable. No AB’s, or established Super rugby players, & yet, they did show that there is still a good culture for the game in Saderland.
      The other big issue, that IMO, needs to be addressed, is the temperature, as in the middle temps were up to around 35. This in itself is not good for players welfare, & promoter’s should take this into consideration. Possibly, that was why there was constant inter change from the coaches & coaching staff.
      It was good to see some of the golden oldie’s still able to compete with their younger counterparts, but, really, if this tournament wants to be taken seriously, then it should be conducted as so to provide for the golden oldie’s in a seperate part of the tournament.
      At this time, most franchises, as it appears in the case of NZ teams, are only using it as a training run.

      • February 11th 2018 @ 10:56am
        Taylormam said | February 11th 2018 @ 10:56am | ! Report

        That’s true, except I recognised more players than any sevens tourney, though agree, mostly from the overseas sides. Agree with the temperature, the tennis players complain about it as well and all day in the sun playing this can be dangerous.

        • February 11th 2018 @ 1:24pm
          Muzzo said | February 11th 2018 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

          Congrats T/man, on the Blues getting up, & I do mean getting up, as that last second try by Moala, was a individual ripper.
          Yep, as I said, about the extreme heat for players, IMO,the date needs to change, as having the tournament in Summer heat, is no joke. It’s just finding a time, outside of Summer, that would be suitable. Well we know how busy these franchises will be from now on.
          The crowd attendance, was not that great, as over the two days, there was only about a 35,000, turn out,,considering the stadium has an about a 55,000 seating capacity. that is 110,000, for two days. Possibly, this was due to the excessive prices that Suncorp, seems to charge for rugby games, or possibly the heat.Well we only have to compare, the Sydney Seven’s prices, to Suncorp.

        • February 11th 2018 @ 4:19pm
          cuw said | February 11th 2018 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

          u will recognize 7S players if u watch 7s circuit on a regular basis.

          u will know super / miter 10 players if u watch super / miter 10 on a regular basis.

          7s has many stars – those who follow know of.

          also at least in Dubai – they have separate event for oldies – and even oldies as non-playing guests.

      • February 11th 2018 @ 12:29pm
        Redsfan1 said | February 11th 2018 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

        Highlights how impressive the Crusaders program is. They can turn out pretty much a junior team and still be up there as the best. For an area that isn’t really big population wise or as cashed up, it’s amazing. It should be studied by other sports teams.

        • February 11th 2018 @ 12:55pm
          Taylormam said | February 11th 2018 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

          Yes, not fair is it. I’m sure it’s in the water down there.

          • February 11th 2018 @ 1:25pm
            Muzzo said | February 11th 2018 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

            Hahaha, T/man, they don’t call it the “sunny south”, for nothing, mate. lol

            • February 11th 2018 @ 1:45pm
              Taylormam said | February 11th 2018 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

              I know, they know a bit about loyalty as well. Dagg, DC, McCaw, Read, Whitlock, Ellis, all happy little cantabs until they retire.

              • February 11th 2018 @ 4:23pm
                cuw said | February 11th 2018 @ 4:23pm | ! Report

                not only that – they take on guys even at older age , just to mentor young guys.

                the likes of Mike Delany Tim Bateman Wyatt Crokett ….

                and after this season Exeter Chief Thomas the tank Waldrom is coming home ; who knows maybe canterbury / crusaders may take him in some capacity….

              • February 12th 2018 @ 8:44am
                Muzzo said | February 12th 2018 @ 8:44am | ! Report

                Not McCaw,T/man, as he was Otago born & educated, even though the Cantab’s managed to secure his services. Cheers.

              • February 12th 2018 @ 11:51am
                BBA said | February 12th 2018 @ 11:51am | ! Report

                I think the point being made is not that the players were born in the region but that a lot of them stay once recruited. Which suggests a lot about culture. From a population perspective the Blues have the advantage but their culture deteriorated from the start of Superugby.

      • February 11th 2018 @ 1:53pm
        Akari said | February 11th 2018 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

        the temperature, as in the middle temps were up to around 35. This in itself is not good for players welfare, & promoter’s should take this into consideration.

        Agreed, Muzzo.

        A sound reason why super rugby game should not be played in either Japan or S’pore where the summer heat can equally be oppressive and risky for the players health.

        • February 12th 2018 @ 8:46am
          Muzzo said | February 12th 2018 @ 8:46am | ! Report

          Yep Akari, it’s possibly something that the Super rugby, should look at.

    • February 11th 2018 @ 11:29am
      Len Haigh said | February 11th 2018 @ 11:29am | ! Report

      I watched it all from the comfort of my lounge room. It was great. It has a big future. The games are structured more like a proper rugby match and there are far fewer stoppages and plenty of fresh players to launch attacks

    • February 11th 2018 @ 12:16pm
      Redsfan1 said | February 11th 2018 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

      Agree with comments. As a big rugby fan in Brisbane I see zero point in this tournament. Rugby has a high rate of injury and they play heaps of super games/tests. Why risk getting injured in a nothing giggle hit out?

      It’s not like T20 cricket where players risk little.

      And the play isn’t exciting. I way prefer 7’s for the speed and fitness and 15s because it’s a real 80 minute battle. 10s doesn’t fit into either category.

    • February 12th 2018 @ 8:19am
      Nobody said | February 12th 2018 @ 8:19am | ! Report

      Sounds like it was a bit of a dud. Pity. I really like the idea of a sevens style of rugby with scrums. Maybe there could be some top class players in it next time?

      Regardless, I would have liked to see at least some of the highlights here (NZ). I didn’t even get to see that on free tv.

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