Hundreds of players and spectators descended on a sun-drenched Hartpury on Saturday (14th) for a spectacular feast of sevens action.
In a sold out competition, men’s and women’s teams battled it out in a high quality competition featuring some terrific tries, inch-perfect passing and blistering pace. A host of Hartpury players put in outstanding performances for a range of teams, not only those bearing the Hartpury name.
The main cup was won by local side St Paul’s Pirates, who were making their Hartpury Sevens debut. They faced off with last year’s winners, Bandit 7s, in the final showdown, winning 47-0. As this year’s tournament served as a regional qualifier for the RFU Community Sevens Series, the Pirates will now be in with a chance of qualifying for the national finals at the next stage of the competition in Exeter on July 9th and 10th.
The Royal Navy Sharks went one better than last season’s tournament and triumphed in the Plate as they sunk the Toucans 27-14 in the final, while in the Shield, a Wafi Warriors team featuring Hartpury RFC winger Jonas Mikalcius – a recent signing by the Harlequins Academy – triumphed 41-21 against Star 7s in the final.
While the Hartpury team went out at the Plate semi-final stage, the Glos-Hartpury women’s team clinched Plate glory in the women’s side of the competition with victory over the West Country Cavs, while the Dragons beat the University of Gloucestershire in the main cup and Lichfield beat Tigers 7s in the Shield final. Other local interest was provided by a game Painswick side, who provided a great deal of entertainment up against some of the top national Sevens sides.
Hartpury College and University Centre also linked up with tournament organisers, 7 Bamboos Rugby, to host a successful Gloucestershire Rugby Business Network event at the Hartpury Sevens. In between catching the rugby action, business people with a passion for rugby had the chance to network, listen to guest speaker, Gloucester Rugby flyer Henry Trinder, and enjoy a complimentary lunch in Hartpury’s Sports Academy.
Hartpury graduate, Max Lueck, set up 7 Bamboos Rugby to provide sevens coaching to schools, help grow the game and run successful sevens tournaments as well as teams and training sessions.
He said: “The tournament was even bigger and better this year. We had so many of the players and spectators say how impressed they were with the standard of the rugby and how well the tournament ran. It helped that the sun was shining all day!
“There was a real festival feel about the day and we witnessed some exceptional rugby but, most importantly, everyone had loads of fun.”