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.