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Joy For Rhinos In Bermuda At World 10s

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Joy For Rhinos In Bermuda At World 10s

Rhinos have a little fun at their team photo.

The Rhinos lead the inaugural World Tens Series tournament in Bermuda after taking their fifth-straight win in dramatic fashion, scoring a try well into injury time and slotting a two-point conversion to beat the London Royals 7-6.

That win saw the Rhinos log a 5-0 record for the weekend, while the Royals ended up 4-1. The game itself was almost all Rhinos in terms of possession and (in general) territory. But the Royals defense, which was what they performed most of the game, was superb. In the first half the Rhinos looked ready to score for all money but a high looping miss pass from Mike Te'o was picked off by the towering Ross Neal, who galloped the length of the field for a try.

In rainy, windy weather on Monday, the Royals opted for the one-point conversion in front of the posts and hoped the 6-0 lead would hold up. Thanks to their defense, and some mistakes by the Rhinos it did, and with about 15 seconds left it seemed the Royals had it in the bag. A turnover and weaving run saw them over the line for a second try. Except ... not. A look at the video showed that the ball was ripped away when the Rhino player was tackled — penalty for Rhinos and no try. 

From there the Rhinos slowly and methodically bashed their way down the field, and eventually scored on a pick-and-go. That score was also looked at by the TMO, but was deemed OK. So now what do you do, kick the easy conversion for the tie, or the harder conversions for the win? Rhinos went for the win — they had to, as the Royals held the edge in bonus points and would win the tournament in the event of a tie — and got it.

Zach Bonte made a huge play in that final sequence, as the Rhinos appeared to lose the ball right in front of the Royals' posts only for Bonte to dive in and steal it back. He was an unsung hero for Rhinos, while Mike Te'o, although not choosing to run with the ball much, was crucial as a distributor. Eric Naposki had a breakout weekend.

There was drama for 3rd place as well as the Ohio Aviators won beat the Asian Pacific Dragons on a late maul for a try, only to see the next game slip away 11-10 to Miami.

Miami had a very good day two, losing their first game to Rhinos but by only two points at 7-5. 

Played in wind and often driving rain, Monday's games were at times slow, but also opened up. Players were tired, and are still figuring out the tactics, but the key problem seems to be when do you call for the offload off the ground, and when do you just ruck over? That's a universal connundrum in rugby, and while these players are expereinced, they're not experienced in 10s, and haven't played in a while.

World Tens Round 1 Day 2 Scores:
Rhinos 7-5 Miami Sun
Ohio Aviators 11-10 Asia Pacific Dragons
London Royals 44-0 Phoenix
Miami Sun 11-10 Ohio Aviators
Phoenix 0-44 Asia Pacific Dragons
Rhinos 7-6 London Royals

2020 Round 1 Standings
Rhinos 5 0 0 80 26 54 1 0 16
London Royals 4 1 0 96 23 73 2 1 15
Ohio Aviators 2 3 0 57 44 13 1 2 9
Asia Pacific Dragons 2 3 0 79 49 30 2 1 9
Miami Sun 2 3 0 54 60 -6 1 1 8
Phoenix 0 5 0 10 96 -86 0 0 0