Gunners Women bang on—again, and Sappers take the Plate
A great day’s ARMY SEVENS lifted the 2013-14 season to a climax. Coming from behind in a thrilling final 1 YORKS—the Tykes—overhauled 17 Port & Maritime Regiment to win the Army trophy for the first time. Of course, those with a longer tooth will remember them as the descendants of Duke of Wellington’s Regiment that has an Army rugby history second to none.
Any of the semi –finalists might have lifted the Cup. The Dolphins (17 P&M) played at a high tempo throughout with Army players Bunny Burenivalu and Tams Tamatawale liable to cut loose at any moment. But, a huge but, the Tykes’ support play was top notch and they tackled with such ferocity that the Dolphins couldn’t overcome a one try deficit. The score of 14 pts–7 was a close but fair reflection on a 6th game and very hard Final. In the Tykes’ corner lurked Fiji international 7s player Emosi Naisaramaki probably the finest rugby footballer ever to pull on an Army shirt. He admitted to playing a ‘little touch’ with his friends down at Warminster—that, would still be worth watching.
The try of the day and therefore the Player of the Tournament went to Burenivalu (17 P&M) (now approaching 40 !) who, in the semi-final against the Royal Welsh ran from his own ‘22’, chipped and collected on the full to run the length of the stadium. Fantastic.
The Gunners’ Women were almost in a class of their own throughout the day. Liberally blessed with full Army caps they had strength in all positions. Gemma Rowland playing stand-off was more than a handful whilst Sami Palmer had the strength to take two or three tackles before the off-load. With overlaps Jess McCauley had too much gas for the opposition. Gunners 29 pts AMS Nil. Rowland won the Womens’ Player of the Tournament.
The Plate, as always, was for the ‘never-say-die’ and in the second half of the sixth game many probably thought they had ! A great team effort by 32 Regt RE overcame reputation to beat 1 SCOTS 17 pts-14.
Army Sevens Day sponsored by VEOLIA is always a fitting climax to a long hard season. For 2014 it was not quite something for everyone but a good spread of the silver ware put a smile on sixty faces.