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Crusaders and Highlanders impress at Tens

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/02/2017
The Highlanders © AAP/SNPA The Highlanders

The Crusaders and Highlanders were unbeaten on a mixed day for New Zealand teams at the Brisbane Global Tens.

All players at the 14-team event had to combat sweltering heat which came close to 40C, affecting playing standards and crowd numbers at the inaugural pre-season event.

New Zealand's five sides are missing many of their best players, with leading All Blacks mostly blocked because the tournament falls in their conditioning window.

It didn't prevent the Highlanders beating two of the more fancied teams, the Brumbies (14-7) and Hurricanes (13-8).

South Island neighbours the Crusaders thumped the Queensland Reds 28-0 after opening with a scratchy 12-7 defeat of Samoa.

Crusaders © Martin Hunter/Getty Images Crusaders

The Super Rugby champion Hurricanes bounced back from their early setback to beat the Western Force 19-12, scoring three tries in the last six minutes after trailing 12-0.

The Blues were guilty of blowing a big lead themselves in going down 27-14 to Samoa after opening with a 17-17 draw against the Reds.

The Chiefs probably need to overcome the unbeaten Panasonic Wild Knights of Japan to advance to the knockout stage. They lost 19-5 to the Melbourne Rebels before beating the NSW Waratahs 26-14.

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