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An all-Kiwi affair in Tens finale

By Ben Smith

A classic rivalry will be renewed as a young Blues side have made their way into the final on the back of a 22-10 victory over the Reds and the Hurricanes completed a turnaround over the Crusaders in the Brisbane Tens semi-finals.


The Reds started the day winless but managed to win their last pool game against the Wild Knights and qualify for the quarterfinals. They upset the favoured Chiefs 19-7 with two controversial tries given to the home side. Going in at halftime the game was locked at 7-apiece, but the Reds ran away with it.

The Reds scored early against the Blues in the semi-final with an intercept try to young fullback Jayden Ngamanu but it was all the Blues from that point on. Jordan Trainor made a long break from halfway before feeding halfback Sam Nock on the inside to spark the Blues revival.

Jordan Olsen scored the second after Nock made a decent break from the scrum base before Kurt Eckland scored a decisive third for the Blues down a short-side play close to the line. Hooker Andrew Ready hit back for the Reds before Dalton Papalii put it beyond doubt at 22-10.

The Hurricanes managed to hold out in a high-scoring affair against the Waratahs after taking a 28-7 lead with eight minutes to go. Naiyarovovo led the comeback with an intercept and set up another before a Malo Tuitama try sealed a 35-26 victory.

The Hurricanes continued their form into the semi-final where they opened the scoring with Jamie Booth following an Alex Fidow break. The Crusaders hit back with a try to George Bridge before another try to Jamie Booth who pounced on a loose pass and kicked ahead to score. Stout defence by the Canes held their 14-5 lead going into the sheds.

Manasa Mataele scored midway through the second stanza following a poor kick option inside the Crusaders 22 by the Hurricanes. Mataele raced away to put the Crusaders within striking distance down 14-10 but they couldn’t find a way through. The Hurricanes were particularly impressive at disrupting their lineout.


The Hurricanes and Blues will meet in the final at 8 pm local time.


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Jon 7 minutes ago
How Maro Itoje terrorised the All Blacks lineout

Yeah England were much smarter, they put their much vaster experience to use in both the scrum (bending/not taking hit) and lineout (Itoje early sacks) law vagaries. Really though, I know what is there, I’m more worried about Englands locks. We only got to see Itoje and Martin, right? Depth allround in the England camp was probably the difference in the series and the drop off when Itoje reached his minutes limit for the season (it was like the plug was pulled from the charger) was up their with keeping Sexton on the park in that quarter final. What happened there? You have a lot of watching hours experience with locks come blindsides Nick, especially with a typical Australian player make up, have you see a six the size of Barrett absolutely dominate the position and his opposition? I can easily see Scott, and even Martin for that matter, moving to the blindside and playing like Tadgh Beirne with the amount of top locks we have coming through to partner Patrick. Still with the English mindset, because despite running the best All Black team I’ve seen in a long time close, they do need to find improvement, and although I thought they had a lot of good performances from their 7’s, I really like the prospect of Cunningham-South in his 8 spot and Earl on the open. Can you see Martin as mobile enough to take over Lawes? I absolutely loved his aggression when Jordie ran upto him to try and grab the ball. That alone is enough reason for me to try him there.

9 Go to comments
sean 2 hours ago
The bite don't match the bark

Yeah, he has a few good points… I disagree that our 7s haven't done anything, we won Bronze in 2016, and we were virtually unplayable to the backend of the “teens” winning the series. 7s is far more competitive globally than Union, so it's fair to say we haven't dominated, but we are almost always contenders. But I do agree that our national side doesn't perform nearly as well as it should between World Cups, and I do agree that our supporters can be too passionate and the opitimity of what Rugby stands against. I have said so many times. And I also believe some context needs to be taken into account with Saturday's win for Ireland. They're a really good team! Settled coaching staff, and bar a few legends retiring, they've had a full season and plenty of time together. We have some youngsters being groomed for the future, have played only 3 games now under a new coaching team with new philosophies and game plans. I'm excited by what the future of this team holds, as much as I am disappointed by the result. But unlike this article suggests, I am never going to take away from what Ireland has achieved, is achieving, and where they're heading. As a Rugby fan, I love the tight games, like the last two weekends. As a Bok Super Fan, I agree we don't perform as well as we should. And as an aside, you come play a game at 7am on our fields, bud. -2°c and frost on the field that is as hard as concrete…. Then we’ll see just how tough you are. Well done Ireland! They played well, and gave our boys a lot to think about. That's what you want from the top two teams in the world. Rugby won. The fans of this greatbsport won. A'n bullshit like this article is why Rugby is losing its identity. I don't like soccer. This article perpetuates the soccer influences the game of Rugby is starting to see. It's why Wayne Barnes retired, feared for his family, and he isn't the only ref to say so. I have called out many Bok fans for being an embarrassment to the game, and I will continue to do so., this article is close to the same bullshit. You should be better.

45 Go to comments
FEATURE Mick Cleary: 'There is now a clear sense of identity about this England team.' Mick Cleary: 'There is now a clear sense of identity about this England team.'