Hundreds of players and spectators descended on a sun-drenched Hartpury on Saturday (16th) for a spectacular feast of sevens action.
Players from 21 teams – 16 men’s and five women’s – battled it out in a high quality competition featuring some outrageous tries, inch-perfect passing and blistering pace.
The main cup was won by Bandits 7s, featuring up and coming England Sevens star, James Cordy Redden, who faced off with Godfathers in the final showdown, winning 35-21.
Second City Stunts triumphed in the Plate as they sunk the Navy Sharks 7s – previous winners of the Dubai Sevens Invitational Cup - 16-0 in the final and the Silverbacks clipped the Roosters wings with a 47-0 success to claim the Shield.
The Roosters had knocked out the tournament hosts, 29-14, in the Shield semi-finals, while Gloucester-Hartpury team won their third/fourth placed play-off 34-5 against West Country Cavs in the women’s section of the competition, which was eventually won by The Bubbles, who beat Reading Abbey Nuns 43-7 in the final.
Hartpury’s university women’s side also featured and had a guest star in England women’s fly-half, former Hartpury student, Ceri Large, from Drybrook, who scored some stunning tries. Other local interest was provided by Patriot 7s, founded by Cheltenham club, Old Patesians, who lost 26-17 to Silverbacks to exit at the Shield semi-final stage.
In an exciting development this year, the college 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 a guest speaker 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 and is really keen to come back next year.
“It was also fantastic to host a Rugby Business Network event for the first time as part of our action-packed programme. It was a great success and I’m sure this will be the start of even more exciting developments as the Hartpury Sevens continues to grow.”