Tournament cuts playtime

The Orange City 10s is again expected to provide plenty of action with teams from Orange, Sydney and country areas. Photo: JUDE KEOGH
The Orange City 10s is again expected to provide plenty of action with teams from Orange, Sydney and country areas. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

A shorter and potentially faster format is in place for this year’s annual Orange City Rugby Invitational 10s competition.

Tournament co-ordinator Fletcher Niven said each game would play eight-minute halves, down from the traditional 10-minute format that have been used in previous tournaments.

He said rest breaks between rounds had also been cut to help keep the action flowing along during the day.

“Players said to me they had played in other tens tournaments where they played six minutes a half which they said was great,” Niven said

“But I thought, it is a pre-season competition, it was too short,” he said.

“So we had a small committee meeting and we’ve decided to go with eight [minutes].

“The whole idea is a pre-season hitout.”

This year’s tournament is on Saturday, March 16, at Waratah Sports Ground.

Niven said there had been strong support from teams for the men’s competition where it is expected 16 teams will play multiple matches throughout the day.

The Colts and Women’s competitions have also fielded decent interest, with each tournament expected to have four teams involved.

He said Orange City would have two teams, while regional sides such as Forbes, Bathurst and Quirindi were expecting to play. 

Sydney teams Macquarie University and Briars were also on the list and plan to make the trip from the city for the day.

Niven said the defending champions Newcastle Wanderers were undecided about returning but was optimistic about their chances of making the trip down from the Central Coast.

“They hope to come and defend their title,” he said.

And he said at least three invitational teams, the All-Stars, the Legends and the Island Boys, were expected to compete.

The Island Boys team is made up of union and league players of Pacific Island-heritage who live in various cities and towns across the Orange region.

He said each team would play at least four games throughout the tournament, meaning that the Saturday fixture shapes as a big day of rugby for players and supporters in the area. 

Niven said there were still vacancies for teams to enter with nominations closing on March 1 for the competition.