Jun 17, 2013
GB7s a huge success at Allianz Park
Samurai were crowned inaugural Marston’s GB7s champions after taking top spot at the third and final round of the three-stage competition.
Their 41-26 victory over Apache in the final at Allianz Park confirmed their title – and a second piece of silverware – but they were helped on their way by the Wailers’ semi-final defeat at the hands of Apache.
And director of rugby Terry Sands said he was delighted that his Samurai side had clinched the first GB7s title.
“We missed out in the first week and the players were very upset about that,” he explained.
“But they have come back strongly and haven’t lost since them. They have finished on a high today in a fantastic venue and on a fantastic pitch.
“There were some good players on show including a number of youngsters who are developing – and that has to be good for sevens rugby.
“We have a blend of old and young and I think we just about got it right today. It was a fantastic tournament and I’m confident that it will get better and better each year.
“This competition is an elite event, the second tier below the IRB. I honestly believe it will grow and it certainly has a place in sevens.”
Simon Hunt and Geoff Griffiths were the star turns, running in two tries apiece to see off Apache with skipper Fraser Harkness, Kenyan Patrice Agunda and Josh Adams crossing for the others. Sam Bellhouse ran in a brace for Apache with David Smith and Perry Jansen also scoring.
Those two tries helped Hunt to five on the day – one behind the Wailers’ Tynedale powerhouse Hamish Smales.
The Wailers finished championship runners-up, helped by their victory at the opening Welsh stage of the competition.
The Scottish Thistles took the honours in Allianz Park Plate competition, beating Vipers 26-22 in the final, the tries coming from Ross Miller, Liam Steele, Nyle Godsmark and skipper Andrew Skeen.
The Pink BaaBaas lifted the first women’s trophy – the London stage was the first to feature a women’s event with four teams fighting it out for the honours.
Skipper Sophie Pascall said: “GB7s has been fantastic and the quality of rugby has been excellent. At events like Bournemouth, you get large numbers but it is more about the social than the rugby so it is good to come here and play some serious rugby – putting the focus on that.”
Tournament Director Dick Jeavons-Fellows said the quality of rugby on display supported his vision for an elite sevens competition.
“The standard of rugby on show has been of the highest calibre,” he said.
“This was designed to be a high-performance competition for athletes with Olympic ambitions and that has been backed up by the fact that so many of Britain’s leading sevens players have been involved in the stages held in Wales, Scotland and here in London.”