Rugby 7′s Coverage

An event anticipated by all, Rugby 7′s began properly on the weekend of the 5th and 6th May, after weeks of planning from the organisers, and months of training from the teams.

It was a two day event, with the tournament structured around league games being played for the first day and a half, and the knock-out fixtures played from half past three on the Sunday. With seventy eight teams competing, the leagues were split into the Premier Divisions and the Social Divisions. This meant that you had to be actively playing rugby, or be actively associated with a Rugby Club, to be eligible to play in the Premier Divisions, whereas the Social Divisions included the amateur teams and the enthusiasts, who were there more for the social element than the competitive edge that gripped the Premier Divisions.

On the Saturday, the quality of rugby played across all of the divisions was of a reasonable standard, considering half of the teams still looked a little bit tired and emotional from the night before, and they were all played with the correct competitive but sportsmanlike ethos, with only a few disagreements within the games. In the cold and blustery conditions, despite the enthusiasm being displayed by the teams, the games were littered with handling and tactical errors, leading to the more technically proficient teams gaining the upper hand in the early stages.

As the day progressed and the teams became fatigued, the standard of play did dip slightly in the Social Divisions, with the majority of the teams in the Premier Divisions maintaining their high-standard of play.

The tournament progressed onto the Sunday with the competition really heating up, with teams not only going out to win the games but trying to win them comfortably to gain the all-important try difference, with none of the teams dominating their leagues and only one or two points separating the top two teams in all of the divisions.

The knock-out stages began from 3pm, and there were multiple cups and trophies to be won, allowing most of the teams to at least compete for a trophy. In the Men’s Premier, where debatably the highest standard of rugby was played, the top four teams from the two divisions entered the Quarter-finals, with the Men’s Premier Cup being the sought after prize. The teams from 5-8 then qualified for the Men’s Premier Trophy.

This knock-out structure was implemented across all of the divisions, with an additional shield added into the Men’s Social, as there were four leagues of nine, so the top two qualified for the Cup, third and fourth qualified for the Trophy, with teams that finished fifth and sixth qualifying for the Shield, the third competition within the Men’s Social.

In the Women’s Social Trophy final, Dynamo Dynamite were the winners, in a fairly one sided game. It was a nervy start for both teams, but Dynamite were able to break the deadlock and thrust themselves into the lead. From then on they didn’t look back with a very strong and convincing performance. Lindad put up a fight but in the end Dynamite were just too strong. The final score finished 26-0 to Dynamo, to win the Women’s Social Trophy in style.

WFC Warriors were the deserved champions of the Women’s Social Cup, in an entertaining Final against Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. This final had so much promise and it delivered. The Warriors showed great strength in the first half to go 12-0. The Snow White’s had a good spell of possession but weren’t able to capitalise. It was a fairly one sided affair and the second half ended, cue jubilation from the Warriors. The final score finished 12-0 to the Warriors.

In the Women’s Premier Trophy, Lampeter RFC rode out eventual 29-0 winners over the plucky Rucking Lovelies. The score is slightly flattering to Lampeter, as the Lovelies put up a gutsy display, and, had a few knock-ons gone their way, the score may have been different. Alas, it wasn’t to be and Lampeter’s crucial edge proved to be the difference with them running in five unanswered tries, to make sure they collected the Trophy.

The most anticipated game of the Women’s competition, the Cup final between the 007′s and the Urban Chox proved to be a damp squib, with one of the more one-sided affairs of the whole weekend. 007 obliterated the Chox, running out as victors with a meteoric 47-0 victory, and celebrated in style, as you can see from the picture on the front page!

Onto the Men’s winners, with their being a higher volume of teams playing there were more finals to be played. In the third competition of the Men’s Social, the men’s shield, Outback Old Boys beat The Cunning Stunts 26-7 in a fairly one sided game. The Old Boy’s got off to a very strong start, diminishing the confidence of the Stunts almost immediately. The Stunts did manage to pull one try back, but it wasn’t enough as the Old Boys continued to pile on the pressure to win the Shield with ease.

In the Men’s Social Trophy, Shifty Barracudas dominated the Bassaleg Beavers in a game that was predominantly played within the Beavers’ twenty-two. The Barracudas constantly pushed the Beavers back, and made a very strong start, scoring two tries within the first five minutes. Very much against the run of play, the Beavers managed to breakaway and storm up the pitch, only being held up by a last ditch tackle. However, from the ensuing scrum, number 11 managed to get the ball over the line, to reward the Beavers for their first venture forward. In the second half, number two from the Barracudas was the difference between the two sides, scoring twice in quick succession, before a final try by number five finished off the Beavers. The Shifty Barracudas lifted the Men’s Social Trophy with a resounding 24-7 victory.

The first competition in the Men’s Social Division was the Cup, and Ellis 6.8 were the eventual winners. Ellis 6.8 were the victors in the Men’s Social Cup this year, easily overcoming the Booze Brothers with an efficient and professional display. It was a rather close encounter, with this game summing up what the two teams had played like throughout the competition, the Brothers showing occasional flair, but Ellis 6.8 were the better side and ran out eventual winners, claiming the Cup and the £250 cash prize.

The Men’s Premier was the division that the rugby fanatics would have watched, with the standard of rugby played at a very high standard. Angelos Mortis were comfortable winners in the Men’s Premier Trophy, overcoming Llewod y Geltaidd twenty-two points to five. This was the last game of the day on pitch one and the crowd was out in their numbers. The first try went to Angelos and it was done with ease. The second followed shortly after, making it an uphill struggle for Geltaidd. Early in the second half Geltaidd got a try back with good build up play. The atmosphere of the game changed, with it turning into an incredibly heated affair, with one of Angelos Mortis players being sent off for violent conduct and another player received a yellow card. Even down to six men, Angelos were able to score another try and reinforce the fact that it was a rather one sided match.

The most coveted prize of the whole weekend was the Men’s Premier Cup, with previous winners Kratos Titans and The Legion battling it out to be classed as the best rugby team of the event. Titans had won the cup for two years in a row previous to this event, with The Legion winning it a record three times previously, so it really was a titanic clash. The game certainly lived up to expectations, but the enormity of the task seemed to affect some of the players, with the start of the game littered with handling errors. The Legion were the first to assert their dominance, and scored two tries in quick succession, one of which was converted. Kratos then hit back with a clinical counter attack try, and they scored another within a minute of the restart, with number 5 breaking through The Legion’s defence, and converting his try. The score was 12-12 after the first half of play.

Kratos picked up from where they left off in the second half, and were somewhat controversially denied a try after some individual brilliance from number 12 and number 7, following a dump tackle made earlier on in the passage of play. The referee and the touch judge were the only people who noticed the infringement, but Kratos then converted another try, atoning for the previous disallowed one, and allowing them to take the lead for the first time in the match. The game was heading towards the final whistle with Kratos in the lead, but then The Legion hit back with a spectacular breakaway in the last minute of the game, allowing the fastest player on the pitch, number 11, to score underneath the posts. The game entered extra time, for only the second time in Aber’s rugby 7s history, and Kratos scored straight away, which was excellently converted. However, continuing in the same vein as the rest of the game, The Legion then hit back with another counter attack try, meaning that the scores remained level at the end of the first half of extra time. Kratos came out all guns blazing in the second half of extra time, and The Legion simply couldn’t cope with their opponents’ fitness and flair. Kratos scored three tries within three minutes, and their 1am curfew paid dividends to their fitness. The final score finished Kratos Titans 43 The Legion 26, meaning that Titans clinched the Cup for the third time in three years, and the £750 cash prize.

And that was that for the 7′s weekend, much mirth and merriment was had by all and some excellent rugby was played by all of the teams. We shall be uploading the final group tables and all of the knock-out fixtures and results within a week of this edition, so if you would like a more in-depth look at the table, then visit the sports section of our website.