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Rugby: Blues beat Brumbies to win World Club 10s in Singapore

Piri Weepu (holding trophy) captained the Blues to an extra-time victory over the Brumbies in the final of the World Club 10s in Singapore. Photo: David Ash / World Club 10s.

Piri Weepu (holding trophy) captained the Blues to an extra-time victory over the Brumbies in the final of the World Club 10s at Singapore’s new 55,000-seat National Stadium. Photo: David Ash / World Club 10s.

June 22, 2014: New Zealand’s Blues overcame Australia’s Brumbies 10-5 after ‘golden points’ extra-time to win the inaugural World Club 10s at Singapore’s new National Stadium, where 10,888 spectators watched the knockout rounds on Sunday.


After the teams were tied 5-5 following two 10-minute halves, Maori All Black centre Jackson Willison scored the winning try in the second extra five-minute period to clinch a physically draining battle between the event’s two Super Rugby franchises.


South African scrumhalf Conrad Hoffman crossed over from close range in the fourth minute to put the Brumbies ahead in the final.


Hooker Tom McCartney then brought the Blues level in the third minute of the second half after intercepting a lineout close to the Brumbies line and surging over for the try. The Blues, led by 71-test All Black Piri Weepu, piled on the pressure in the rest of regulation time, but were unable to break the deadlock, forcing ‘golden points’ extra-time.


With extra-time contested in five-minute periods until one team scored, the match became even more stretched, with both teams trying to score on breaks on a heavy, sand-based surface. It was only in the second minute of the second extra period that Willison burst through from close range for the winning try and was mobbed by ecstatic teammates.


Weepu, who helped New Zealand win the 2011 Rugby World Cup in a 71-test career, was delighted with the victory as he crowned his first visit to Singapore.


“Having the final like that against the Brumbies, as another Super Rugby franchise, was really good. The boys were able to dig deep and managed to finish really well right at the end there. All credit to the boys. They’ve done really well,” said Weepu, who admitted the additional periods proved testing for both sides.


“I would have preferred to stop at the end of the second half! Obviously it didn’t pan out that way, but the boys are just happy with the final result.”


Weepu, 30, also had a slight dig at the heavy sand-based surface, one of the few criticisms of the spectacular new 55,000-seat venue at the Singapore Sports Hub, which otherwise drew plaudits for its design and cool temperatures, aided by the cover provided by the retractable roof.


“We tried to do the basics really, we tried to be clinical, but it didn’t quite work out and obviously the sand played a big part in that, but at the end of the day, we got the ‘W’ and that’s all that matters.”


After the Blues routed Petrarca 26-0 in the morning’s quarter-finals, the Auckland-based franchise reached the final with an 8-5 semi-final win over the Dragons invitational side. The Canberra-based Brumbies bulldozed Biarritz 47-0 in the quarters before beating Cardiff Blues 17-5 in the semis to set up the Super Rugby showdown.


The Dragons, featuring Alesana ‘Samoan Bulldozer’ Tuilagi, came from 5-0 down to beat Cardiff Blues 26-17 in the third-place playoff. After going a try down, Dragons captain Junior Poluleuligaga and Tu Umaga-Marshall touched down to make it 12-15 at half-time.


Soon after the second half kicked off, Richard Smith looked set to bring Cardiff back into the game when he dived over for a try, but Fijian half Emosi Vucago punched the ball out of his hands while making a covering tackle.


Singapore’s own Rainer Leong was then kindly set up for Dragons’ third after Tuilagi set up Sainivalti Ramuwai, who crossed the line and – instead of touching down himself – passed to the local star for a popular try. Seilala Lam scored the Dragons’ fourth midway through the half before Ellis Jenkins and Macauley Cook reduced the deficit with two late tries.


Ramuwai’s generosity in handing over a certain try to Leong cost him the top try scorer honour, which he shared with Brumbies’ Australia fullback Jesse Mogg after both players scored five tries.


Samoa Water President’s 10 won the Plate by beating London Welsh 28-14, after Petrarca beat Biarritz 12-5 in the seventh-place playoff.


The World Club 10s was the first sports event to be held at the National Stadium, the centrepiece of the new Singapore Sports Hub, and is expected to be held in the city for the next two years.


World Club 10s 2014, National Stadium, Singapore Sports Hub, Singapore


Group Stage (Saturday, June 21)

Pool A: Blues 47-7 Biarritz

Pool B: Brumbies 12-0 Petrarca

Pool A: London Welsh 0-26 Samoa

Pool B: Cardiff Blues 12-19 Dragons

Pool A: Blues 19-17 Samoa

Pool B: Brumbies 22-17 Dragons

Pool A: London Welsh 26-5 Biarritz

Pool B: Cardiff Blues 38-0 Petrarca

Pool A: Samoa 35-12 Biarritz

Pool B: Dragons 19-5 Petrarca

Pool A: Blues 27-7 London Welsh

Pool B: Brumbies 21-12 Cardiff Blues


Knockout Stage (Sunday, June 22)

Cup Quarter-Final: Blues 26-0 Petrarca

Cup Quarter-Final: Dragons 43-12 London Welsh

Cup Quarter-Final: Samoa 5-10 Cardiff Blues

Cup Quarter-Final: Brumbies 47-0 Biarritz

Plate Semi-Final: Petrarca 7-24 London Welsh

Plate Semi-Final: Samoa 40-17 Biarritz

Cup Semi-Final: Blues 8-5 Dragons

Cup Semi-Final: Cardiff Blues 5-17 Brumbies

Seventh-Place Playoff: Petrarca 12-5 Biarritz

Plate Final: London Welsh 14-28 Samoa

Third-Place Playoff: Cardiff Blues 17-26 Dragons

Cup Final: Blues 10-5 (a.e.t) Brumbies


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