Although the weather wasn’t anything like last year, when the temperatures almost hit 30+ degrees, the Bamboos teams still had plenty of reasons to enjoy their second appearance at the Somerset-based competition.
The ladies team, coached by our injured captain Lucy Juffkins, started the day with a tough contest against the Abbey Nuns from Reading, a club which is Berkshire’s highest ranked women’s team and feature Irish international Annette Tomas.
Although the Nuns had the better start to the game with an early try, the Bamboos responded with two tries shortly after. However, the game remained a close encounter to the end as it didn’t take long until the Nuns scored again. But our girls had the last say and finished the game successfully with a 19:10 win.
In their second match, we faced Ironside Ladies a match which turned out to be slightly more one-sided as our team scored seven tries and only conceded one to finish the game 46:7. Unfortunately, the last pool match didn’t take place due to a drop-out which resulted in qualifying in a top position of the Cup competition.
In the quarter-finals of the knock-out round, our ladies switched up another gear to beat the Irish side Guess Who, with an impressive 70:0, the highest win this season.
With the two top-seeded teams Swansea and Ponty Butchers in the tournament, it was obvious that at some point the level of the competition would become a lot tougher and consequently, our women’s team faced once again Welsh’s strongest ladies side Swansea WRFC. A team which we played twice before at the SW7s and on both occasions the Welsh side left the field as a winner.
And although our girls gave it all, creating some great opportunities to score, it wasn’t enough. Swansea scored three unanswered tries and went on to win the Cup in a top-class final against Ponty Butchers deservedly.
Our men’s team came to Frome with the aim to defend last year’s Bowl trophy. The Frome Sevens Open has developed into a very tough competition, featuring three of Wales’s finest teams Ponty Butchers, Carmarthen Warriors and Goggerdian Raiders.
In the opening game, our boys, captained by Alex Hughes, faced a well familiar side, with Bristol-based Toucans who just won the Yeovil 7s a week ago and arrived with plenty of confidence in Frome.
Indeed, the Toucans had a much better start to the game dominating the first half with a 21-0 lead, however the Bamboos came back strongly and scored three tries to finish the match with a 26-26 draw.
Next up, the Ponty Butchers were waiting, and this match turned out to be by far the hardest one in the pool stage. The Butcher’s were in excellent shape and demonstrated from the beginning why they are currently one of the best-rated teams on the circuit.
They beat us fair and square and so it came down to the last pool match which would decide whether we end up in the Cup as a second-placed team or gone down the Bowl route.
In the crucial third pool match, we played an army side from Marlborough. Following some heavy rain just before the match, the conditions weren’t ideal with a slippy surface and so it took a while until our boys found a rhythm. Although, the match was won 21:0, it wasn’t enough to progress to the Cup quarter-final.
Consequently, Alex Hughes and his team meant to face Hurn Airport in the semi-final of the Bowl competition. Unfortunately, this match didn’t took place as Hurn had to pull out of the tournament and so the team qualified straight to the final.
In the Bowl final, we came across a strong Fijian expats team named Nakelo Spartans. The Spartans started better into the game and scored first, but it didn’t take long until we crossed the line to equalize. It was an interesting encounter, as both teams had their chances to seal the deal, but eventually, winger Jamie Williams, used an opportunity to score the winning try late in the second half to secure the Bowl win.
NINA WEBB, SUE NEUMANN, BETH HICKS, MEL CLAY, ALEX WALSH, BETH WYATT, FLO PIDDINGTON, ELAINE HUGHES, RHIAN GOWER, AINE FOLEY
ALEX HUGHES, CALLUM WYMAN, DION LEALOFI, LUKE CADOR, GEORGE WEST, RORY DAVIS, ALEX ONYEAHASI, IKO MO NOQU, CULLEN CONNORS, MORGAN CHURCHILL, JAMIE WILLIAMS, BARNEY PICTON