Rugby League’s carnival of entertainment is set for take off when the third instalment of the Auckland Nines kicks off this weekend. We thought we would break down everything you need to know for the rapid-fir tournament as Storm gets set for its first taste of competitive football in 2016.
How does the tournament work?
All 16 NRL clubs will compete in the two-day, nine-a-side tournament with a share of $2.6 million dollars in prize money up for grabs. Each side will play a minimum of three matches, with the top two sides of each group progressing into the knockout stage of the tournament.
Where will it be played?
The NRL Nines tournament will be held at Eden Park in Auckland across Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 February.
Who do Melbourne Storm play?
Melbourne Storm have been drawn in the Waiheke pool for the tournament alongside Sydney, South Sydney and Parramatta.
Saturday, February 6, Storm v Eels– 10:55am (Melbourne time)
Saturday, February 6, Storm v Rabbitohs – 2:50pm (Melbourne time)
Sunday, February 7, Storm v Roosters – 8.35am (Melbourne time)
Can I watch the Auckland Nines on TV?
Yes, the Auckland Nines tournament will be broadcast LIVE and exclusive across Australia on Fox Sports, Channel 501.
Which Storm players will be playing in the Nines?
1. Curtis Scott, 2. Young Tonumaipea, 3. Richie Kennar, 4. Cameron Munster, 5. Marika Koroibete, 6. Blake Green (Captain), 7. Brodie Croft, 8. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 9. Ben Hampton, 10. Mark Nicholls, 11. Kenny Bromwich, 12. Tohu Harris, 13. Dale Finucane, 14. Nafe Seluni, 15. Jeremy Hawkins, 16. Dean Britt, 17. Joe Stimson, 18. Tony Tumusa
What are the rules for the Nines tournament?
Each match shall consist of two equal halves of nine minutes.
A total of five interchange players may be used on an unlimited interchange basis throughout the match.
All scrums shall be formed with a maximum of five players from each team (three players in the front row and two in the second row).
A try shall count for four points except for those tries scored in a defined area known as the ‘Bonus Zone’ which will be worth five points. The ‘Bonus Zone’ is a marked box located in the in-goal area at each end of the field.
Scoring teams will have up to 25 seconds to complete a conversion after a try, as indicated by a Shot-Clock at the stadium that will be visible to both teams.
All penalty kicks at goal shall be taken by way of a drop kick from the point at which the penalty is awarded and will be worth two points.
A field goal in general play shall be awarded as one point.
All kick offs to re-start play, other than for the start of each half, shall be taken by way of drop-kick and must travel 10 metres in a forward direction.
Tackle Count - Five tackles
A team in possession of the football shall be allowed four successive play the balls.
Win: 2 points
Draw: 1 point
Loss: 0 points
Extra Time - Golden Try
If scores are level at the completion of a qualifying match, five minutes of 'Extra Time - Golden Try' will be played. The winner of the match shall be determined to be the team which scores the first try in this period of play. If no one scores, the match will be deemed a draw.
For all Finals’ matches (Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and Final), the match will continue until a try is scored.