Tana Umaga praises young Blues players in Brisbane Tens triumph

Blues Coach Tana Umaga is pleased with his players, as the Auckland side beat the Hurricanes 10-7 to claim the Brisbane Global Tens trophy.

The Blues were trailing 7-0 in the final, but two tries in the last three minutes secured victory for the team that finished bottom of the New Zealand conference in Super Rugby last year.

The winning try came after the siren, with George Moala stretching over to spark wild celebrations among his team.

They last held up a trophy at the World Club Tens in Singapore four years ago, but haven't taken any Super Rugby prizes since 2003.

Young winger Caleb Clarke, the son of former All Blacks midfielder Eroni, scored the most tries in the tournament with five and was named player of the tournament.

The Blues have had very little to celebrate over in recent years, so winning the Tens title was pleasing for Umaga.

"We'll take any win at the minute, very happy with that, especially with the group we have over here," he said.

"Some guys have been with us for two months, some two weeks, but they showed some real resilience to combine together.

"The result is great, but some of the off-field stuff, and learning to follow through and win those critical moments was really pleasing for us this weekend."

They last held up a trophy at the World Club 10s in Singapore four years ago.
They last held up a trophy at the World Club 10s in Singapore four years ago. Photo credit: Getty

Captain Jimmy Tupou didn't feature in the final, after injuring himself on day one of the tournament, but he admitted it was hard to watch from the sidelines.

"I was standing on the sideline, but George Moala was our captain all day and he's a guy that doesn't say much, but likes to lead with his actions," he said. "He took things upon himself and really just went for it.

"That's been how we've played the last couple of days, we just want to have a crack and have nothing to lose.

"I was getting tired, watching it myself. To get the result the way we did was pretty awesome."

Despite the win, Umaga knows his side still has plenty to work on ahead of their Super Rugby season opener against the Highlanders on February 23.

"We have had a good couple of a week's getting some contact and getting some games under our belts, and we have another one Thursday night, which we have to think about and then were are into the season," he said.

Carlos Spencer.
Carlos Spencer. Photo credit: Photosport

Umaga was also quick to praise Carlos Spencer's contribution to the side during the tournament.

The 43-year-old was the Blues wildcard player and Umaga believes he was very influential during his time with the team.

"Just having him around was great for our guys. You can see them when we are doing our drills and calling him 'los', and then they have a little giggle talking to a legend.

"He's somebody who is revered in our club, so just that and some of the little bits he's been passing onto our guys at training and he's carrying back, and doing that kind of job.

"I don't remember him doing that when he was playing, but he's' doing it now and showing the young guys the way.

"He always seems to have a knack of winning whenever he's involved, so I'm sure the boys have taken something from him."