In roasting hot conditions, the Bamboos women’s and men’s teams travelled to the ever-growing Frome 7s tournament in Somerset last weekend. It was the first time the club entered this well-organised event which hosts more than 50 teams across four different competitions.
Both teams had a full squad at hand which were well needed considering the demanding temperatures of +30֯ and more. A total of 10 Bamboos gave their debut, including Alex Wolfe, Bradley Harris, Chris Plumb and Rory Davis for the men’s and Bianca Blackburn, Emily Swales, Lotti Murphy, Rosie Kay, Meria Tabua and Una Wacokecoke among the women’s side.
The Bamboos women’s entered their campaign with a tough challenge, facing a very strong Ponty Butchers women’s side in the first match of the day. The Welsh-based team entered the match in ruthless fashion and showed a strong and solid performance resulting in a 7:43 defeat for our women.
In their second match, the Bamboos showed a much-improved performance against an experienced University team from Exeter. However, despite some very fine play at times and dangerous attacking rugby, it was the Uni side who had the better end, finishing the game with a 21:39 victory.
But the ladies bounced back with a brilliant performance in another difficult encounter against Bath RFC. In the third game, the team eventually showed off their potential with great skills in attack as well as defence and suddenly things worked a lot better. With five tries, the team secured a 31:19 success.
One out of three wins in the pool stage meant that the women’s team had one more game left – a Vase final against North Petherton. The Somerset-based team are capable of playing fine 7s as we found out when we faced them two weeks ago at the South West 7s Festival. But, once more the Bamboos were switched on and played their strongest rugby on the day to finish the day with a well-deserved 33-7 win.
The men’s also had a day with up’s and down’s as they entered the strong Open competition of the Frome 7s. Drawn in Group 1, the Bamboos met quality teams such as Kartuta Turtles, Ponty Butchers and North Dorset All-Stars
However, the men in green started their campaign strongly with a solid 31:5 win against the Karuta Turtles, a familiar team which we played on several occasions before and the latest side to qualify for the regional finals of the RFU 24/Sevens series. In the second match, we came across the Ponty Butchers from Wales for the second time in two weeks. Decorated with some of Welsh’s finest 7s talents, the Ponty Butchers went into the game strongly. Despite some solid efforts by the Bamboos, the Butcher’s went away with a 33:10 win.
In the final pool match, the men’s team played the North Dorset All-Star’s, a team consisting mainly of experienced Fijian’s who know the game inside-out. The Bamboos gave it all and despite two converted tries, the All-Star’s won 14:25, resulting in playing for the Bowl competition.
First-up in the knock-out round where Bath Rugby League, the first-ever League team to enter the tournament. The match became some sort of a turning point as suddenly the Bamboos produced a fine attacking display with several tries. The 50:5 win was a real confidence booster for a tough semi-final.
In the semi-final, the Bamboos had to go head-to-head against the Welsh Guards. The Guards, also blessed with fantastic Fijian talents played dangerous and unpredictable attacking rugby. However, in a tight and hard-fought encounter, it was captain Lewis Pratten who managed to score the winning try to secure the 28:24 victory.
In the Bowl final we meant to play the Karuta Turtles once more, however, unfortunately, the Turtles weren’t able to field a full team for the final due to injuries and therefore the Bamboos secured the Bowl trophy already beforehand.
In the spirit of rugby, it was decided to carry out a friendly match against a Barbarian’s team consisting of players from the Turtles and the charity side “Moth in a china shop” which the BaBa’s won eventually.
Special thanks to Mike Rutt for organising this fantastic event.
Bamboos Men’s Squad | Frome 7s
James Andrews, Alex Wolfe, Lj Brown4, Bradley Harris, Danny Price, Lewis Pratten, Will Hewer, Pate LauLau, Chris Plumb, Alex Onyeahasi, Rory Davis, Alex Hughes
Bamboos Women’s Squad | Frome 7s
Alex Walsh, Bianca Blackburn, Emily Swales, Sophie Cleverly, Lucy Juffkins, Elaine Hughes, Lotti Murphy, Rosie Kay, Meria Tabua, Una Wacokecoke, Aimee Kelly