With a sale out crowd 2014 Bournemouth 7s was going to be a great event to participate in, with a planned 30,000 spectators, this year was going to be the biggest. For the Reds, the team recovered from the previous night’s competition in take on the challenges not only of the rugby, but also the first days limited sunny weather called rain – the place was flooded.
That said the team warmed up for the first game against of the day which were Glantaff Goats, a team on the circuit we know well and had a great deal of talent. Both teams worked hard to keep possession with the Reds coming out winners at the final whistle 19-7, a hard start to the day with sore bodies from the day before. Next up were Apache who sported a new team from the day before but they still wanted the blood of the Reds, from the start both team went for the win and attacked and defended strongly until the Reds capitalized on Apache mistakes to give them a win at the final whistle 17-7. Finally the last pool game of the day was against last year’s Cwmtawe finalists Carmarthen Warriors made up from the top players in Wales and more dangerously knew how to play 7s. From the start the tackles, off loads and defence were impressive and delivered a show to the crowds who cheered on both teams efforts which finally saw the score at full time equal 14-14 which made it an interesting start to Sunday’s rugby.
After a night’s recovery which included ice baths and sleep, the team was ready for the quarter finals against Bryanston Old Boys. Feeling the effects of the 3rd day of battle, the team warmed up for the started the game with a strong tactical presence, passing the ball and looking for channels to exploit, it took4 minutes before the first opportunity arose to see the Reds run in two tries to give them a lead 14-7 at the break. Team talk complete, the second half was even more exciting, both teams changing possession to see a final score of 28-17 and onwards to the semi final against the Viper 10 All Stars that boasted players from across the country including the military. From the Kick off, it was evident that this game was like the final. Everyone on the pitch including the officials had to be on their game as the pace was unbelievable and the bone shattering tackles didn’t leave any imagination as to the commitment by both teams wanting to win, all this pleased the crowd which by now was brimming with enthusiasm and cheering the great display of 7s. That said the Reds took the lead by tries from Bunny, Sami and Vuki to give a score 19-7. However, the wise heads of the management knew that this was far from over and the second half saw the rub of the green go to Viper 10s winning the referees decisions to allow them to come back in the game to lead 24-19 with 30 seconds to go on the clock. From the restart, the Reds controlled what was in their power and went for the Viper 10s line finally scoring on the left wing to give a final score of 24-24. After the team talk and confirmation the extra time protocols, the Reds decided that they needed to finish this game and completely dominated every contact phase of the game to win possession to see them once again attack the Vipers 10 try line in the left corner to score winning the game 29-24. What a game which was full of incidents and passages of the game which left many confused, that said, the crowds enjoyed the game.
The finals were against “The Black Sheep” a Welsh team that had talent in abundance. From the kick off they run in a well worked try which impressed all, this followed a passage of play that both teams enjoyed the playing a running rugby game that saw the score at the break 12-19 to The Black Sheep. The second half did show that the Reds were on their last legs and tiered from the last 3 days of rugby and the semi final and saw the black sheep run in unanswered tried to give a final score at the final whistle 31-12. A great final and day which saw the Reds perform in front of a 30,000 crowd that wanted to support the great rugby on show, overall a great weekend and now time to recover for next week’s encounter in Scotland.