Young Canes make fly­ing start


‘‘Clearly Fi­dow has a bit to of­fer, par­tic­u­larly with ball in hand. ’’

You’d have to say the Hur­ri­canes ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions.

Granted, this year’s Bris­bane Global Tens weren’t lit­tered with greats of the world game. But few would’ve looked at the squad the Hur­ri­canes chose to send to Sun­corp Sta­dium and said ‘I reckon they’ll go within a whisker of win­ning the ti­tle.’

Con­ced­ing a try af­ter the full­time hooter was a cruel way for the Hur­ri­canes to lose the tour­na­ment fi­nal 10-7 to the Blues at the week­end. In the grand scheme of things, though, a few play­ers can come home con­tent in the knowl­edge they’ve en­hanced their rep­u­ta­tion.

None more so than in­trigu­ing Alex Fi­dow.

A prop by size, rather than in­cli­na­tion, the 20-year-old tight­head first made his name as a sec­ond five-eighth. Then it was No.8 and fi­nally by the sixth form, hav­ing tipped 142 kilo­grams on the scales, there was nowhere to go but the front row.

These days he’s clock­ing in at about 120kg and looked full of run­ning out on the right wing, where the Hur­ri­canes sta­tioned him for the bulk of the tens. the

Clearly Fi­dow has a bit to of­fer, par­tic­u­larly with ball in hand. His chal­lenge is to love scrum­mag­ing as much as he does car­ry­ing the foot­ball.

Un­til then, team-mates such as Jeff To’omaga-Allen and Chris Eves and Ben May - who are adept on both sides of the scrum - will get first dibs on the No.3 jumper. It’s just that, a bit like his great mate Asafo Au­mua, Fi­dow is such a good ball run­ner it’ll be tempt­ing to find a place for him.

Oth­ers who went to Bris­bane and re­turn as gen­uine Su­per Rugby op­tions in­clude wing Ben Lam, half­back Jamie Booth, lock Mur­ray Dou­glas and first fiveeighth Jack­son Gar­den-Ba­chop. Lock Will Man­gos is an­other who, while not an of­fi­cial mem­ber of the squad, does the kind of don­key work that mer­its be­ing kept around.

From the in­aus­pi­cious start of a 22-0 loss to the Cru­saders, the Hur­ri­canes ground out 12-5 and 12-10 wins over Fiji and the Brumbies. They weren’t play­ing well but still qual­i­fied fourth for the quar­ter­fi­nals, where they reg­is­tered a more im­pres­sive 35-24 win over the Waratahs.

Then came the clin­i­cal 14-10 semi­fi­nal vic­tory against the Cru­saders who, like the Blues, had en­joyed the lux­ury of sit­ting out the quar­ter­fi­nals.

At 7-5 ahead - and with time up - the Hur­ri­canes ap­peared poised to clinch the fi­nal too. But they were pushed off their own ball by a big Blues scrum, then couldn’t re­pel Ge­orge Moala’s last, des­per- ate lunge for the try­line.

Los­ing 10-7 would’ve been dis­ap­point­ing, but hardly a dis­as­ter, given the im­por­tance of tens. The main thing was that a few young blokes played with the kind of heart and ac­cu­racy to sug­gest bet­ter days are ahead.


Alex Fi­dow of the Hur­ri­canes takes on the de­fence dur­ing the Bris­bane Global Tens fi­nal.

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