I want to apologise for not having this out sooner, I have been unwell with my Ulcerative Colitis and I have recently contracted a chest infection.
A disappointing start to the fan favourites, Panasonic Wild Knights going down to the Chiefs 33-5 this morning. The Japanese side were missing international stars Berrick Barnes and Ben Gunter, therefore, seemed to lose the firepower that they had in their excellent start to the tournament the previous day.
Playing in stifling 40-degree heat, the Robbie Deans coached club struggled to keep control of the ball and had little direction to overcome the two-time Super Rugby champions. The Chiefs who were reeling from the recent news that former Chief and All Black Sione Laukai had passed away overnight put in a brave, yet dominant force against Panasonic to finish on the top of Pool A.
7-time Super Rugby Champions, the Crusaders cruised into the quarter finals with an 17-12 win over the Blues. The Christchurch based side scored 2 tries in the first half to build an impregnable lead against the Blues. They then furthered this lead in the second half with a quick try early before the Blues attempted a fight back, but it was too late for the Blues and the Crusaders finished on top of Pool B
Toulon continued with their disappointing performance at the Tens with a 32-0 loss to the current Super Rugby champions, the Hurricanes. The Wellington based side dominated proceedings from the early moments with many opportunities given away by the French side to finish on Top of Pool D
South African tourists, the Bulls surprised the crowd with a 26-17 win over the Highlanders. The Highlanders started strong with two tries in the first 5 mins of the half before the Bulls clawed back the 17-point deficit. The Pretoria based side then scored three quick tries in 5 minutes to beat the 2015 Super Rugby Champions to place on top of Pool C.
Then onto the finals…
QUARTER FINAL 1
Quarter Final 1 saw the hosts, the Queensland Reds fighting with the Chiefs in a literal manner early in the piece with a headbutt by Tanelia Tupou on Liam Messam firing up the Waikato side. The game was a tight match with the Reds leading at HT 10-5 with two quick tries to Samu Kerevi. In the second half, an early try was denied by the Chiefs then followed up with a lot of ill discipline by the Reds with Tanelia Tupou and Leroy Houston being sent off, this allowed for the Chiefs to win the tight contest 12-10.
QUARTER FINAL 2
Quarter Final 2 saw the Crusaders take on the Panasonic Wild Knights with the NZ side crossing the chalk twice early in the match with tries to George Bridge and Seta Tamanivalu. The Crusaders were lethal towards the Wild Knights as the Christchurch heavyweights found weaknesses in the Japanese club’s wide running play. Crusaders import Digby Ioane was yellow carded late in the first half with a questionable tackle on Berrick Barnes, however the Cantab’s were sitting comfortably by HT leading the Ota based side, 12-0. By the second half, the Panasonic team were fading fast stamina wise and remained scoreless for almost the entire half, scoring a consolation try by Aussie import, Daniel Heenan. We said Sayonara to the Japanese surprise packets of Day 1 with a defeat to the Crusaders 12-7.
QUARTER FINAL 3
Quarter Final 3 saw the Western Force take on the South African Blue Bulls, with the Pretoria-based side being put on the backfoot in the first half, with Chance Peni and Alex Newsome getting the points in the first half with the Perth-based side leading the Bulls 12-0 at HT. The Bulls then came back in the second half getting on the scoreboard early with a try to Warwick Gellant. Shortly after a break was made by Luther Obi which set up a try for Tian Schoeman then less than a minute later, the Bulls put the final nail in the coffin denying an Australian side a semi-finals berth by scoring a try by Francois Brummer.
QUARTER FINAL 4
Quarter Final 4 became the hotly contested match of the tournament with the 2015 Super Rugby finalists the Hurricanes and the Highlanders facing off in this clash of the titans. It took until late in the first half for the first points to be scored with a wide try to Adrian Smith, much to the delight of the Landers Army who congregated in the hot sun to support their team.
The second half was a very messy affair with loose passes and untidy play happening from both sides, which then, in turn, had the Highlanders lose a player to a yellow card and the Hurricanes took advantage of this with a try to Ricky Riccitelli to level the scores and Jordie Barrett converting with a minute left on the clock. Hurricanes then progressed to the semi-finals beating the Highlanders 7-5.
SEMI FINAL 1
Semi Final 1 saw the Chiefs showing that they meant business in this tournament, with the recent passing of Sione Lauaki, captain Liam Messam was slated to return to NZ to be with the Lauaki family, however decided to take the field. The South Africans came out pumped, and had early possession however Shaun Stevenson crossed for the first try of the match after dodging several defenders. A penalty try was awarded to the Chiefs, then a Bulls player was sent to the bin before Solomon Alaimalo crossed over before half time, and was later converted. By this time the Bulls were completely out of reach with it being 26-0 at the break.
Alaimalo then crossed early in the second half which then lifted the Chiefs to another level. The Bulls were fading fast, however a try late in the match to the Bulls was a consolation and we said Totsiens to the South Africans.
SEMI FINAL 2
Semi Final 2 saw another NZ match up with the Crusaders taking on the Hurricanes. It did take 8 minutes into the 1st half before the Crusaders crossed over with a try to Quintien Strange in somewhat interesting circumstances due to the fact the Wellington-based side having 9 players on the pitch. Shortly after, Sione Fifita was stretchered off the pitch after coming down bad in a line out.
Bryn Hall scored the points for the Cantab’s early in the second half, stretching their lead out to 14-0. However, the try of the tournament went to Jordie Barrett in a similar fashion to his elder brother, Beauden in the Rugby World Cup final with an impressive chip and chase. Late into the second half the Crusaders then took an unusual decision to kick for goal after being awarded a penalty. The Crusaders finish with a win – the only team so far in the tournament to win all their matches.
This then leads to the final of the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens, with the Chiefs taking on the Crusaders, it being an all NZ final, which shows to the world how dominant rugby is at both club, Super Rugby, and International level.
The Final started off with the Chiefs kicking it out on the full right at the start, this then leads into a lot of possession turnovers by both sides before the Crusaders crossed with a rolling maul try to Andrew Makalio. Injury time was then called for Brad Weber who fractured his femur and needed to be stretchered off. Luke Jacobsen then went over the chalk for the Chiefs and got ahead of the Crusaders after a successful conversion was made. Chiefs were then 7-5 at HT.
In the second half, the Crusaders then had a player sent to the sin-bin and it assisted in Taleni Seu scoring a try for the Waikato men. Injury time was then called for Chiefs’ player Mitchell Graham who badly fractured his fibula and tibia not without doing the very much Penthrox (Green Whistle) assisted ‘dab’ on the stretcher. This then affected their player roster on the bench and although the Crusaders were trying to claw back the deficit, it was a matter of “too little, too late” with some loose passes thrown in desperation.
In the end, the Chiefs won 12-5, ultimately winning the inaugural Brisbane Global Rugby Tens trophy.
RESULTS DAY 2
Waratahs 14 def Rebels 12
Chiefs 33 def Panasonic Wild Knights 5
Reds 12 def Samoa 5
Crusaders 17 def Blues 12
Hurricanes 32 def Toulon 0
Bulls 26 def Highlanders 17
Chiefs 12 def Reds 10
Crusaders 12 def Panasonic Wild Knights 7
Bulls 17 def Force 12
Hurricanes 7 def Highlanders 5
Chiefs 26 def Bulls 14
Crusaders 17 def Hurricanes 7
Chiefs 12 def Crusaders 5