All pictures: Hartpury Media Society
In glorious sunshine and lovely 7s conditions, the Barracuda Hunters, a team mainly consisting of talents from Hartpury College, surprisingly won the prestigious Cup competition of the 5th Hartpury Sevens last Saturday.
In the final, the team, captained by George Butt, beat last years Shield winners Cats 7s, another unexpected contender for the title. The Cats turned up in magnificent form and overcame tournament favourites and last year’s Cup winners Carmarthen Warriors 19:24 in the quarter-finals before they progressed to beat the Godfathers 24:17 in the semi-finals.
However despite a brave effort and an early lead in the final, the Hunters just had a little bit more left in the tank to take home the Cup trophy, the qualification for the regional finals of the Secure Trading 24/Sevens Series and £250.
In the women’s competition, co-hosts and Premiership side Gloucester-Hartpury were the outstanding team, as they stayed unbeaten throughout a long and tough competition, with teams from Berlin and Latvia, in addition to local sides Tigers 7s and 7 Bamboos RFC.
Coached by 7s-expert Susie Appleby, the Gloucester-Hartpury women’s side, deservedly won the Cup following a convincing 50-0 win in the final against Livonia Rugby from Latvia. Livonia, entered the competition for the first time with a men’s and women’s team and left a great impression.
In the other competitions, Welsh’s elite invitational team Carmarthen Warriors beat their fellow countrymen Gogerddan Raiders 38-0 to claim the Plate trophy, while Gloucester’s Smithesians overcame Conolly’s 7s 29:14 to secure the Shield.
The Plate final of the women’s competition was a repeat of last year’s final, between Tigers 7’s from Cheltenham and 7 Bamboos RFC. Once again, the Tigers managed to snatch the victory and the Plate trophy. The win in the Plate final also secures the successful qualification for the regional qualifier of the Secure 24/Sevens Series in Plymouth later this summer.
This year, the tournament organisers also introduced MVP awards for the first time. Selected by the referees, the men’s award went to Cats player Sam Smith, while Viktorija Brachmane from Livonia deservedly won the trophy in the women’s competition.
A special thanks goes out to academy manager Alan Powderhill, all referees, first aiders, volunteers and the Hartpury Media Society for making the 5th Hartpury Sevens a great success.