On 26 August the FRN 7s team took part in the National Pub 7s at Harpenden RFC.
This was the tournaments 48th season and it showed! The atmosphere was extremely friendly, the tournament well-organized and the rugby top-notch. One of the biggest highlights (in addition to the well received Red Bull tent) was the presence of the England 7s team who impressed the crowds with their rugby skills and made lots of admirers off the pitch as well.
As the last 7s tournament of the season, all 31 teams that participated soaked up the last bit of sunshine and put in their best efforts to leave it all on the pitch until the following summer in front of a crowd of 2,500 people.
Despite being the number two seeds in this year’s National Pub 7s, England 7s walked away with the impressive Singleton Cup as the winners of the tournament. England’s triumph was no walk-over, however, as they had to battle hard to beat the very impressive fourth seeds, Apache in the final.Not only taking part were the elite teams such as England 7s, Apache, the White Heart Marauders, the Samurai British Bulldogs, the Nigerians and the Redstone 7s, but true to the tradition of the tournament there were also local Harpenden pub teams such as the Mighty Cocks, The Engineer, the Inn on the Green and the Oak Tree.
There were also teams from as far afield as Bristol and Jersey.
The tournament started with a group phase, with the ten group winners and the six best losers moving into the main competition. The remaining 15 teams went into The Plate competition, which was eventually won by St Edward’s Martys, an old boys’ team from St Edward’s school, Oxford, after a thrilling 26 – 22 win over Hertford RFC in the final.The losers in the first round proper of the main cup competition went into ‘The Barrel’.
The FRN 7s team did well to win all of its pool matches but when facing Nigeria A we were forced down to the Barrel, where we eventually faced the Bryanston’s Old Boys in the semi-finals.
In the end, we could not match the quality of the Bryanston’s Old Boys, a well-recognised 7s team who won last year’s Bournemouth 7s Festival, who went on to beat the Seven Dwarves, 28 – 17 in a very exciting final.
One of the biggest surprises of the tournament was Apache beating the top seed, the White Hart Marauders, 19 – 0 in the first semi-final in the Cup. England 7s more predictably ran out comfortable 45 – 0 winners against Samurai British Bulldogs in the second semi-final.Thus, as the sun began to set, the large crown anticipated a one-sided final between England 7s and Apache but after only a few minutes they were cheering the Apache underdogs as they proved very worthy opponents for England. However, England’s undoubted superiority triumphed in the end as they ran in five tries to win the competition 27-14.
Full results available at: www.nationalpubsevens.com
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