The inaugural World Club 7s competition was being held in Twickenham and the Reds were invited to participate in a one off match against the Gilbert Barbarians which was made up from some talented players that had been selected and coached by a team of England Playing and Coaching staff in a hope to push the Reds all the way at HQ.
Challenge accepted, the Reds wanted to get out on the pitch and let the rugby do the talking and reward those spectators that have supported the team through the season with a win, but they knew it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park.
Preparation complete, it was game time with the team gaining a round of applause from an appreciative crowd as the team entered the park.
From the kick off, it was clear that the Barbarians were a class outfit that knew how to play rugby; this was confirmed by looking in the programme listing a quality group of academy players knocking on the door to the premiership and future international honors.
With the Barbarians having possession and passing the ball across the park, the Reds went into defence mode, practicing on the drill during training and looking for the chink in the armour which the team could exploit. With aggressive and passionate tackling at the breakdown, the Reds over turned possession to be awarded a scrum. Solid as ever in the scrum, the Reds scrum half Zack Vakasawaqa exploited the gaps generated to storm up the field drawing the defence, finally offloading to Tuvita Tamatawale to lead as a skipper, scoring under the posts for the opening try which was successfully converted by Zack.
From the restart, it was the same as the kick off with the Barbarians gaining possession and applying pressure by probing the Reds defence across the width of the park which stood solid to the onslaught. However, a well worked chip over the heads of the Reds saw the Barbarians collect the ball from the bounce to score a try in the right corner of the pitch.
The Reds gained the possession from the restart and showed the Barbarians the skills of the team that have gained them the respect across the 7s community and applied pressure with the ball and players coming in from various angles to cause confusion in close quarters. Waiting for the correct gaps to come along, the king of fancy footsteps Jack Prasad finally danced with an added dummy off loaded the ball to the giant game maker Alex Swann to see him steam up the park avoiding tackles to score the Reds second try under the posts that was successfully converted by Zack Vakasawaqa.
With the clock counting down and possession with the Barbarians, the Reds had to defend by applying pressure and extinguish any forms of attack which came in waves as the passion started to bubble away for the Barbarians who didn’t want to leave the park in second place. The Reds, with a solid defence, pushed the Barbarians back into their 22 until the final knock on after the hooter to give a well worked win to the Reds 14 – 5.
What a great game played by an amateur team who pride themselves on their core values in promoting the rugby on the park to do the talking. The Reds would like to thank Premiership Rugby for giving them the opportunity to participate in a great competition along with the Barbarians and officials who contributed in a fantastic game for the spectators. Also, we would like to thank the families and supporters to the team, without you the game we love wouldn’t be as great as it is.
Finally, we couldn’t leave it there without talking about some of the Army 7s players that were also representing other teams in the competition; Apo Satala playing for Gloucester and Alex Yamoyamo playing for New York that beat Gloucester in the plate finals. It was great seeing the former Army 7s players, always apart of the Army 7s family. We wish them well for the future outside of the Army.
See you in Harpenden next week for the final competition of the season; we look forward to seeing you – God Bless.