Tumeke Hippos win the 2014 North London Tag Rugby Festival

Try Tag Rugby teams battled it out in London for four tournament trophies



Try Tag Rugby held its annual North London Tag Rugby Festival on Saturday at Saracens ARFC with a record 21 teams vying for the silverware.

Try Tag Rugby players were blessed with some beautiful weather to defy the odds as the forecast prediction was for rain, with only a five minute light drizzle seen all day.

The tournament had four trophies up for grabs which were for the A grade (top six teams), Cup division (teams which finished 7th to 11th), Plate division (teams which finished 12th to 16th) and Bowl division (teams which finished 17th to 21st) titles.

After the pool stages the top six teams which made up the A grade division were from a host of different locations which added some good variety to the mix and some unfamiliar opposition for these teams. The A grade teams were Tumeke Hippos (Acton), Chargers (Canada Water), Sober Lane Super Freaks (Dublin), 2MEKE (Acton), Speights (Rotherhithe) and Bite the Bullet (Barnes).

The A grade featured some cracking matches with many only split by one to two point margins but it was Tumeke Hippos and Chargers who were to meet in the final. These teams have a healthy rivalry with Tumeke Hippos having the upper hand with victories over Chargers this year in the 2014 Wasps Tag Rugby Festival final and at the Pig n Porter in the semi-finals; however Chargers defeated Tumeke Hippos in the Canada Water summer league final which was their most recent clash.

Tumeke Hippos stormed out of the blocks to take an early lead that was never surpassed and managed to secure a 9-4 victory over Chargers with Hannah Rickman of Tumeke Hippos being awarded best on ground.

In the Cup division, the Lollabies got one up over their fierce Shoreditch rivals, Phibbers with a 5-2 victory and Joe Keane of the Lollabies taking home the best on ground award.

The Plate division saw Grubs from Olympic Park defeat STTaggers of Borough 6-4 in a nail biter of a final and Grubs’ Elliot Ryder being presented best on ground.

In the Bowl division Tag Me Up and Down of Highbury were too strong for JDX of Shoreditch with an 8-3 triumph and Adrian Doyle of the champion team won the best on ground award.

Each division also featured a player of the tournament award with the following players winning the accolade:

A Grade – Richard Sullivan (Sober Lane Super Freaks)
Cup division: Sean Rogers (Victorious Secret)
Plate division: Murray Wilson (House of Flying Sparklers)
Bowl division: Ornagh Higgins (Cream)

The tournament organisers deemed the 2014 North London Tag Rugby Festival a big success as the weather was great, the players all provided positive feedback about the day and the Saracens ARFC want to welcome the tournament back in 2015.

2014 was the first year in which the North London Tag Rugby Festival was held at Saracens ARFC with the previous three being held at Finsbury Park.

In other news, Try Tag Rugby has opened registrations for all the upcoming winter leagues which commence from November 17 onward at 10 venues across London. Leagues will be taking place at the following venues:

Monday: Acton, Borough, Tooting Bec, Upper Holloway
Tuesday: Olympic Park
Wednesday: Rotherhithe
Thursday: Barnes, East London RFC
Saturday: Clapham Common, Caledonian Road

With 183 teams currently playing in autumn leagues across London and far less venues available in winter, most leagues will sell-out far in advance of the registration deadlines. Make sure to register ASAP to avoid missing out!

The winter leagues cater to all standards of players from the elite to the complete beginner with most venues running a number of divisions. Registrations are open to teams, part-teams and individuals.

If you’re a Kiwi new to London, if you get involved you will make a heap of new friends, keep fit and have plenty of fun! We look forward to welcoming you to a Tag Rugby pitch soon.

If you would like to get involved in a Try Tag Rugby competition, go to www.trytagrugby.com or email [email protected] for more details.

IMAGE: The 2014 North London Tag Rugby Festival A grade champions, Tumeke Hippos! (By Sally Mills).