Brisbane Global Rugby Tens Fails to Deliver Key Difference

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BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 11: Geneeal view during the Rugby Global Tens match between Samoa and Blues at Suncorp Stadium on February 11, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

The Brisbane Global Rugby Tens was an exercise in patience from start to finish, and it ultimately didn’t live up the hype.

Over the course of two days, some of the best domestic clubs in World Rugby took on each other in a ten player per side, four pool, winner take all competition. The problems were obvious to begin with; an all to certain reminder of rugby’s already established shorter form of the game.

Nearly 50,000 fans watched the action in person at Suncorp Stadium. The Chiefs beat the Crusaders in an all New Zealand final 12-5 to become the maiden Brisbane Global Rugby Tens champions.

The Big Problem With The Brisbane Global Rugby Tens

The Brisbane Global Rugby Tens is far from the ideal preparation for Super Rugby. The Australian and New Zealand teams involved should return to their respective HQ’s wondering what the point of the last couple of days has been. For the likes of Toulon and the Panasonic Wild Knights; their seasons in the traditional format have already mostly completed.

Rugby Union already has Sevens to provide a faster, alternate style of rugby than the traditional model. Be it the HSBC World Series, the Commonwealth Games, or the Olympics; Sevens rugby is established and fits in the yearly calendar. Yes, tournament in question is the first event of its kind; but the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens doesn’t have the same fit, no matter where you schedule it.

Teams tried to play the game like it was Sevens, and while some succeeded, the whole event just felt like an exercise in patience. What I mean by that is in terms of the Super Rugby sides, all of whom are just two weeks away from the regular season beginning remember. The risk of injury is high, and don’t forget that all of the sides have just come off a pre-season trial game in the past week. The teams are now forced to spend an entire weekend playing a foreign style of rugby, before flying home and getting into their final trial match in the traditional format, and then gear up for the crucial first round which begins on February 23rd.

What Were DUCO Thinking?

DUCO are the minds behind the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens, and their primary cause is to make money. They didn’t do their due diligence from the very start; advertising several All Blacks as feature players over the two days without confirming their availability and just going on their presumptions.

Clearly, the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens was a tournament aimed at building interest in the game in Australia. Given how poor the national side has been in the past month; you can’t blame the concept for a tournament like this but it just isn’t the answer.

Simply put, the only difference between what fans at Suncorp Stadium saw over the weekend was an extra three minutes of rugby per half, as well as unlimited interchange where players can come and go from the field during a match. The wildcard idea for teams was of interest, and it was nice to see women’s rugby have its time at the event, but these were token additions at best.

Finally, perhaps the biggest point to ponder is the quality of the rugby. Many of the games were exciting, and while there was a scattering of big names in some sides, the 2018 version of the tournament needs more drawing power.

Super Rugby Begins Properly In Two Weeks

Now that the teams are away from the heat of Brisbane; the beginning of Super Rugby’s regular season is just a couple of weeks away. The Rebels will host the Blues on Thursday February 23rd, before the first of the kiwi derbies between the Highlanders and the Chiefs kicks off the next night.

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