Tens delay would help the heat: Messam

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Chiefs captain Liam Messam has suggested the Brisbane Tens should move its start times back in future, to combat the scorching Queensland heat.

Messam’s side played against the Rebels at 12pm, when temperatures were already well into the 30s, before a second clash against the Waratahs at 4:33pm, with shade over the stadium.

“Maybe just until a bit of shade comes in because it was blinking hot with that sun beaming down there but we took a good learning from that game and if you roll your subs out a bit more quicker then you get a bit more rest,” he said.

Messam also took the opportunity to defend New Zealand Rugby’s choice to leave their All Blacks on ice, with a 12-week mandatory off-season for their Test side.

“People were complaining that New Zealand teams didn't bring their All Blacks but there's some great, young talent in all the New Zealand sides, especially our young Chiefs side,” he said.Liam Messam takes down Ned Hanigan of the Waratahs. Photo: Getty Images“There's some young guys that are going to be superstars in the years to come.

“Great platform for them to put their name out there and go out there and have a bit of fun and show the world what they've got.

“In that perspective, it's good for the young guys, especially our young players push them out there and have a taste of what it's going to be like.”

The Chiefs finished the day with a 1-1 record, losing to the Rebels and beating the Waratahs with a final game against Panasonic to come.

Messam, who played in the New Zealand Sevens side last year, said they fell into the trap of moving too far away from their XVs approach in their opener.

“We played too much like sevens in our first game and our last game just then we went back to our old roots in XVs and up the guts and it works for us, so I think we'll be sticking to that,” he said.

Messam was a part of New Zealand’s Sevens program last year and said he was one who expected it to be a carbon copy of the shortest form of rugby.

“I thought there'd be a lot more space in tens but it's exactly like XVs pretty much and there's not a lot of space,” he said.

“You've got to have great footwork like guys like Tim Nanai Williams and Shaun Stevenson to get through those little holes, so that's why I think we'll just keep going up the guys us big forwards, it seems to be working, instead of trying to run around.”

Chiefs acting coach Andrew Strawbridge said the results wouldn’t hold much chop going into Super Rugby, but were telling internally when it came to their tactics.

“You can't read anything into that from that performance but from our side, we're still playing the same sort of principles we do in XVs and it's still the same people doing their work at the breakdowns,” he said.

“Our defence is pretty similar and our attack we've got similar structures playing in this as what we have in XVs but [if you want to] try and get some line on how the opposition are playing, I’d say no.”