Reds to put the heat on Kiwi raiders in Tens
RUGBY UNION: Predictions of a Kiwi shutout have roused Reds coach Nick Stiles to suggest the raiders will first need to prevent melting in the heat at the Brisbane Rugby Global Tens.
The Global Tens are such an innovative, new adventure for the 14 clubs from six countries that any rankings are bound to be upended.
Betting agency UBET have installed Cory Jane's Hurricanes ($5), the Super Rugby champions, as favourites for the helter-skelter invasion of 10-a-side rugby at Suncorp Stadium this weekend.
Rating the Chiefs ($6), Highlanders ($7) and Crusaders ($7.50) on the next rungs of betting is belittling the strong chances of Australian teams and French giants Toulon, Stiles said.
The Highlanders and Crusaders will fly out of cool 16 degree temperatures on New Zealand's south island into the oven of predicted 36 degree heat in Brisbane on Saturday and Sunday.
"By its very nature, Tens are an exciting lottery but I'd expect the heat will definitely affect some of the late-arriving Kiwi sides," Stiles said.
"Everyone just presumes that the Kiwis will win because they are good at off-loading, attacking off turnovers and running in space.
"They will be at the forefront but other sides have great skills and I'm predicting a few surprise packets."
The victorious Sydney Roosters were 25-1 roughies in rugby league's NRL Nines in Auckland last weekend which suggests a winner can come from anywhere at the Tens.
Stiles said the sharp 53-17 trial win by the NSW Waratahs over the ACT Brumbies in Mudgee last weekend was a pointer.
"The Waratahs looked in good rugby condition. They are one smokie and the ACT Brumbies ($9) have had rare experience in a previous Tens tournament," Stiles said.
Adding the try-power of Israel Folau to any team gives them a winning look and the Waratahs ($10) are better than their quote alongside the Reds ($10).
Former Wallaby Drew Mitchell and his Toulon teammates fly in today and Brisbane club Easts have spent the summer turning Bottomley Park into a grass carpet for their open training sessions.
The Reds can put down an early marker against the Kiwis because facing the Blues (12.56pm) and Crusaders (6pm) on Saturday in Pool B is a testing start.
Jake McIntyre and Duncan Paia'aua will be the Reds midfield playmakers while the Tens will offer a thrilling chance for quicksilver running halfback Moses Sorovi.
The Reds have spent the summer training in the enervating heat of Brisbane so a little local advantage might tip their way.