Aussies chasing NZ tails on finals day

Just like Super Rugby, the Kiwi teams are setting the pace in Tens rugby.

Ageless ex-Wallaby Andrew Walker is backing his Brumbies to interrupt the Kiwi momentum in a helter-skelter dash towards a possible Brisbane Global Tens finals appearance.

The New Zealand teams’ dominance of Super Rugby has translated to continued success at Suncorp Stadium where the Crusaders, Chiefs and Blues set the standard in front of 11,430 people on the opening evening of the 10-a-side tournament.

Australia’s contenders were left in the wake of the New Zealanders and face critical matches in typically hot Queensland conditions on Saturday.

The Rebels and Brumbies each have one win apiece, while the Waratahs should have finished the early pool games with an unblemished win-loss record but for a momentary lapse at the death against the Highlanders.

A 3.33pm (AEST) Pool C date with the Hurricanes will determine the Brumbies finals hopes.

The Hurricanes were thumped by the hot Crusaders before improving to beat Fiji, and Walker is wary but confident his side is riding a linear path to top form at the business end of the tournament.

“I reckon so (make the finals)” the 44-year-old wildcard said.

“We’re just finding our feet.

“The Hurricanes weren’t bad against Fiji after that woeful first game.

“If we can hold the ball and capitalise, then I think we’ll come away with a win.”

Walker was one of the few wildcard players, from a list including Carlos Spencer and Drew Mitchell, to make a big impact.

The veteran attributed endless games of touch football for his great condition for the end-to-end game.

“It’s the knocks and bruises I’m not used to anymore,” he said.

The Reds need a win against the Wild Knights at 1.08pm (AEST) and other results to go their way to reach the finals.

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Based in Canberra, the Brumbies have become a central part of Australia’s rugby landscape since the club’s Super 12 tournament debut in 1996. They have reached five Super Rugby finals in that time, claiming overall victory on two occasions.