The new head of World Rugby comes from Lancashire and his home club is Fylde Rugby; the man in question is Bill Beaumont. Beaumont has visited Tarleton Rugby Club on a number of occasions and he officially opened the new clubhouse some years ago. He wasn't there on Saturday 4th June but would surely have been proud of this village rugby union club hosting an RFU qualifying 7s tournament.
24 teams headed to this West Lancashire Village for a days 7s rugby; there were two late cry offs but the team's gathering looked great and were in fantastic spirits. Very fitting as that is the name England Rugby have given their National Tournament http://www.englandrugby.com/
The senior competition consisted of 12 teams:
- Greek Yoghurts
- RP 007s
- Try Al
- Clean Sweep
- Hull Uni Old Boys
- Manchester Metropolitan University
- EdgeHill Uni Beavers
The 12 social teams included Team Legion from Tarleton Rugby Club, MTM from Darlington, S Club7 from Kirkham GS, 7 Lads 1 Ball, Clitheroe RUFC plus many others
The senior competition saw the 4 pools of 3 with top 4 in the Elite Cup, the 4 second place in the Open Cup and the bottom 4 into the plate. All teams paid a relatively low entry of £65 with a chance to win the top prize of £1000
Caldy RUFC were the reigning Champions and worked effectively to win their first game against RP 007s; a team made up from old Huttonians and Nottingham Trent University. The second game of the day saw the battle of the most imaginative playing kits with RedPanda7s playing Greek Yoghurts. The kits were hand designed by Slovenian Rugby International, Max Skofic, who is the Creative Director at www.redpanda-sports.com
New entrants to the competition were Clean Sweep from South Manchester looked very polished and played attractive 7s in the pool stages. Three of the Skofic Brothers were playing for Try Al and Archie must have been thrilled to see himself on the RFU website advertising this new national initiative.
The morning pool stages made way for afternoon knockouts the top for in the senior competition were Waterloo, Caldy, Clean Sweep and RedPanda7s. Semi-final no.1 pitched a well drilled Waterloo against RedPanda7s. It was the latter that would the spoils with a patient game plan.
The second semifinal was Caldy versus Clean Sweep; the reigning Skofic7s champions, Caldy putting an impressive display to take the game.
The four sets of finalists were completed:
Plate Final - Greek Yoghurts v Hull Uni Old Boys
Open Cup - RP 007s v Try Al
Social Cup - S Club7s v 7 Lads 1 Ball
Elite Cup - Caldy v RedPanda7s
All the finals played on the main pitch in beautiful sunshine and temperatures over 22 degrees, large crowds and played in great spirit.. perfect entertainment!
The Elite Cup was a well planned game by RedPanda7s with a smothering defence. On two occasions Caldy broke free but were hauled back by covering tackles from Curtis Strong. On the attack, RedPanda7s were using Harrison Collins at centre. He linked well with scrum half Alex Zavallis-Robuck. Two of the younger RedPanda's Danny Openshaw and Lewis Winterbottom were able to interchange and off load to great effect. RedPanda7s taking the game under the leadership of Rob Jones, Chris Gemmell and Max Ashcroft. Their captain Harrison Collins had been a winner at Skofic7s in its inaugural year with Durham University.
In the other finals it was Greek Yoghurts, Try Al and 7 Lads 1 Ball who would be victorious. A fantastic day, real rugby people at a real rugby club; enjoying themselves and showcasing some fine rugby talent. International at age grade and senior from England, Malta, Cyprus and Slovenia participating throughout the day. Well done Tarleton Rugby Club!