THE 2013 year for Try Tag Rugby started on the 14th of January when the first of the winter leagues kicked off at seven venues across London.
The regular snowfall didn’t deter the many players who braved the cold to show their love and passion for Tag Rugby.
The spring season commenced from 3rd March at nine venues across the capital. During this season, Try Tag Rugby held its first one day tournament of the year with 23 teams participating in the 2nd annual Wasps Tag Rugby festival at Twyford Avenue sports ground in Acton. The 2012 winners, The Chargers successfully defended their title to go back-to-back champions.
We moved onto the early summer season from 29th April which saw a record 185 teams battle it out across 14 venues in London and Reading.
The inaugural Hog ‘n’ Ale Tag Rugby Festival, which was run in conjunction with the Irish Tag Rugby Association and the London Irish Rugby club, was the first one day event of the summer with Acton’s Tumeke taking home the spoils.
The next one day event was Try Tag Rugby’s prestigious Corporate Challenge at Regent’s Park on Friday, 24th May which had team entries from companies such as Google, Pcubed, Robert Walters and Yahoo! to name a few. It was EMAP who reigned supreme among the corporate Tag Rugby world in 2013 to claim their first one day event title.
Try Tag Rugby partnered with Rugby Rocks and held the 2nd annual Rugby Rocks Tag Rugby Festival in Richmond on 2nd June, with Tumeke claiming another title to add to their impressive collection.
Just a week later, the popular Try Tag Rugby International Cup tournament was held in Acton (8th June) with three different nations taking home silverware. London Australia claimed the mixed A grade title, London New Zealand won the men’s divisions, whilst London South Africa were victorious in the mixed social grade.
We then moved to the late summer season from 25th June with the elite Tag Rugby players preparing themselves for the first annual test series between Great Britain and Ireland in Limerick on 12th July.
The next day in Limerick (13th July) was the northern hemisphere’s biggest Tag Rugby tournament; the Pig ‘n’ Porter Tag Festival with 120 team entries across three divisions. London’s very own, Chargers performed admirably by defending their 2012 title and claiming back-to-back titles and the €1000 prize money on offer.
The UK welcomed the touring Tongan men’s O/30s national team to its shores with the tourists taking on London Residents (15th Aug) and Great Britain men’s O/30s (20 Aug). The London Residents managed an 8-2 victory whilst Great Britain went down 8-4 to the Tongans.
Whilst the Tongans were in London, they were part of the record 42 teams that entered the 4th annual London Tag Rugby Championships at East London RFC on 17th August. The tournament which also had the Ireland mixed national team taking part, is starting to attract global recognition with teams as far away as Australia and New Zealand expressing interest in attending the 2014 event.
The winners of London’s most prestigious Tag Rugby tournament included: Tagquila Shots (mixed A grade), Tonga men’s O/30s (men’s) and Tokyo Drift (mixed social). The tournament concluded with a fancy dress themed after party which was one of the biggest seen in UK Tag Rugby circles.
The autumn season commenced on 27th August with plenty of Tag Rugby action in store this season with two one day events and a tour to Malta.
On 21st September, the London Tag Origin series and inaugural Provincial Challenge was held in Acton. The mighty North London defeated South London by one point on aggregate to take a 3-1 series lead. The London New Zealand North Island team were too strong and claimed the first Provincial Challenge title.
Tumeke added their 3rd one day title trophy for the year by winning the 2013 Malta Tag Rugby Festival on 28th September by defeating all the Maltese local teams and the Try Tag Rugby All Stars in 34 degree heat.
12th October was the date for the annual Finsbury Park Tag Rugby Festival, with the Westview Warriors defeating the Southfield Sharks in a nail biter golden point extra time final.
The last Tag Rugby season of 2013 was the late autumn season which commenced from 22nd October. The last one day event of the year was the 2nd International Cup tournament of the year with the Kiwis claiming their first ever mixed A grade title, whilst the Aussies triumphed in the men’s and mixed social grades.
The year concluded with the Try Tag Rugby Christmas Party on 6th December at Phibbers pub. One of the most anticipated social events of the year, this party has a habit of exposing secret crushes and starting new relationships, and 2013 didn’t disappoint.
This year Try Tag Rugby introduced annual awards with the accolades going to the following:
Team of the year – Phibbers
Team organiser of the year – James Ramsay (Clapham Strokers)
Referee of the year – Dom Collingwood
Most social team of the year – Win, Lose on the Booze!
Best & fairest male player of the year – Tom Peel (Phibbers)
Best & fairest female player of the year – Samara Lawrence (Guff Coast Titans)
Most improved male player of the year – David Shipley (Phibbers Cubs)
Most improved female player of the year – Sarah Bond (Hawaii Try-O)
#russellcrane award for best banter on social media – Richard Seedhouse
As you can see, 2013 was a mammoth year for Tag Rugby in the UK, and 2014 is shaping up to be even bigger and better!
All your favourite tournaments and venues will be back in 2014 as well as a few new ones. All the Tag Rugby social events will be back including the Valentine’s Day challenge, Summer Season Launch Party, Day Out to the London 7’s, the Thames Boat Cruise, and the popular Christmas party.
For the elite Tag Rugby players, there will be International fixtures against Australia (London) and Ireland (home and away series) with a possible tour to South Africa to conclude the representative season.
Try Tag Rugby caters for all standards of players from the complete beginner who has never touched a Rugby ball to the advanced, so don’t worry if you have never played before. Tag Rugby is easy to learn in a friendly, social and welcoming environment.