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Inaugural Brisbane Global Rugby Tens ready for kick-off

Fri, Feb 10, 3:24pm by Head Editor

Everyone seems to be time poor these days which has led to most sports offering fans a shorter-form of the game.

Cricket has introduced Twenty-20 cricket, a match that’s over in four hours, versus the traditional form of the game which can last five days.

Rugby League has the Nine’s format which, as the name suggests, cuts down the number of players from 13 to nine and is also played over nine minute halves, compared with the normal 40.

With less players on the field, this leads to more scoring and more entertainment, two characteristics that were on full-display in Rugby Union’s Sevens format, which was introduced at the Olympics in Rio last year.

In fact, the main origin of Rugby Tens is perhaps the abbreviated code of rugby sevens, which originated in Scotland, and was very successfully exported to produce the Hong Kong Sevens, where it still runs, and is a great missionary force for rugby in Asia.

Rugby Tens, also known as ten-a-side and Xs, is a variant of rugby union in which teams are made up of ten players, five forwards and five backs. Matches are much shorter, played over two ten-minute halves.

The Brisbane Global Rugby Tens, in its inaugural season is a two-day event, will be held at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane which gets underway on Saturday, February 11 at 12pm AEDT.

The weekend promises to be an exciting one, combining the space and speed of Sevens with the trademark physicality, athleticism and tactical element of traditional fifteen-a-side rugby.

On field, 14 teams, which are made up by all of those from Australia and New Zealand in the Super Rugby competition, along with the Samoan national team, Japanese champions the Wild Knights, the Blue Bulls and superpower French club RC Toulon has been included in the competition.

The sides have been divided into four groups, with each team to play three matches over Saturday and Sunday morning, before the finals take place on Sunday afternoon.

Sportsbet lists defending Super Rugby champions the Hurricanes as slight favourites in what should be an unpredictable tournament, with the bookie paying $5.50 for the Wellingtonians to walk away with the inaugural title.

Wellington’s Nehe Milner-Skudder is one player who was made to play Rugby Tens. On his return from a long injury layoff, Milner-Skudder will provide the Hurricanes with plenty of pace and game breaking ability.

Fellow Kiwi sides the Chiefs ($6.50) and the Crusaders ($8) and are also considered front runners for the title, and are expected by Sportsbet to at least make the semi-finals.

The two best Aussie chances are the Waratahs at $8.50 and the home town Reds at $9. The latter will be perhaps the best equipped to deal with the 39-degree heat that is expected on Sunday and Saturday is also expected to be a sweltering 36.

The winning team may have to play four matches in six hours in that heat on Sunday so if the Reds can stay in the hunt up until the semi-finals, then they are every chance.

Keep an eye out for Taniela Tupou of the Reds. The former New Zealand schoolboy sensation, dubbed the ‘Tongan Thor’ is just finding his feet at the professional level but could be set for a breakout weekend in Brisbane.

The teams are competing for their share of over AU$1.6 million in prize money and participation fees.

Suggested Bet: Reds to win: $9

Sportsbet Market

Hurricanes $5.50

Chiefs $6.50

Crusaders $8

Waratahs $8.50

Reds $9

Highlanders $9.50

Brumbies $10

Toulon $13

Blues $14

Western Force $17

Rebels $17

Bulls $17

Samoa $51

Panasonic Wild Knights $81

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