Aussies sweating on final Tens pool matches

Brisbane Tens
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Aussie teams will be sweating on their final games to find out their Brisbane Tens finals fate, after mixed fortunes on day one.

In front of a crowd of 11,430, the Waratahs, Brumbies and Rebels all finished with one win, while the Reds lost both their pool matches on the first day.

None of the Australian teams could take a win off their Kiwi rivals either, with the Waratahs throwing away a chance to beat the Highlanders and the Brumbies downed by the Crusaders.

With one round of pool matches still to play on Saturday, strangely, all teams are still in with a chance of making it through to the knockout stages.

See how every match played out here.

NSW


The Waratahs started their day with an emphatic win over French side Pau, before going down to the Highlanders.

NSW are still in the box seat to feature in the finals, after crashing out in 2017, but will have a tough final test against the Chiefs on Saturday.

Waratahs back Curtis Rona said they were disappointed with the finish in the second game, where they were in control until the final seconds.

“It was heartbreaking at the end there, we just couldn’t hold onto the ball and the Highlanders made us pay,” he said.

“I think our main focus was coming out here and having a go.

“I think that’s what the boys have been doing, they’ve put their hands up and try and create something out of nothing.

“I think we’ve done that tonight. It’s just unfortunate that we couldn’t get the win.”

 

QUEENSLAND

The Reds face a must-win final match against the Wild Knights on Saturday after two losses on day one.

Despite going down to the Rebels and Blues, the Queensland side still has a chance of making the finals draw if they can beat out the Japanese side in Saturday's opener.

Things weren't all bad for the young Reds group on Friday, with Izaia Perese a standout for the hosts, particularly in the second game.

Coach Paul Carrazzo praised the young utility after the day wrapped up.

"For Izaia Perese in that last game was very determined," he said.

"He made several really strong runs and showed he didn't like to be tackled, really put his hand up a bit."

Carrazzo rotated his combinations through the day, keen to give every player a chance.

That was particularly notable at flyhalf, with Jake Strachan, Hamish Stewart and Teddy Toua playing 10.

"Hamish had some good touches that first game," Carrazzo said.

"It was just trying to use the the squad and Hamish played a lot of minutes in the first half of the first game in the heat."

NRC livewire Filipo Daugunu also showed some promise, in his first competitive run for the Reds.

"He shone in that NRC last year and I think the thing not to forget is he's still quite raw to the game," he said.

"He was quite a good soccer player up until his late teens, maybe 20, and considering he hasn't been playing rugby for a long time he's a very talented, very physically blessed."

The Reds take on the Panasonic Wild Knights at 1:08pm local, 2:08pm AEDT on Saturday.

REBELS


The Rebels finished with a win and a loss in their first matches, leaving them with what is effectively a sudden-death game against the Blues on Saturday.

Melbourne had a tough first-up loss to Panasonic, going down 19-17 at the death, before inflicting similar treatment on the Reds in their final match of the day, with a 21-17 victory.

Speedster Henry Hutchison relished a cameo back to a more open form of the game.

"It's a bit of a stepping stone," he said.

"It's been tough transitioning back to XVs. I've loved it (the Tens), it's great, it's a happy medium between both games."

The Rebels take on the Blues on Saturday at 1:37pm local, 2:37pm AEDT.

 

BRUMBIES


The Brumbies will have to top the Hurricanes for a chance to play finals, after a win and a loss on pool day.

Wildcard Andrew Walker turned back the clock again, bringing some spark for the Brumbies, and was optimistic of their chances on day two.

“We’re just trying to find our feet nad how the Tens are really played,” he said.

“That’s why they brought me in to play, with a bit of a Sevens background, to play with more  width and if you don’t turn over too much ball we’ll go alright.

“I play a lot of touch football. Fitness part is alright, it’s just the knocks and bruises after the game.

“If we can hold the ball and just capitalize on the other teams’ mistakes we’ll come away with a good win.”

The Brumbies take on the Hurricanes on Saturday at 3:33pm local, 4:33pm AEDT.