THE 2014 year for Try Tag Rugby started on the 8th of January when the first of the winter leagues kicked off at six venues across London.
The regular rainfall didn’t deter the many players who braved the cold and wet conditions to show their love and passion for Tag Rugby.
The first one day event of the year was the inaugural Valentine’s Day Challenge on the 15th of February, which saw 25 singletons enjoy a day of tag whilst getting to know lots of new people and having a heap of fun. Besides a few hook ups, there is one relationship that is still going strong from this tournament; it’s certainly a great way to meet people with similar interests. The inaugural Valentine’s Day Challenge was deemed a success and will be back again in 2015, this year falling smack bang on Valentine’s Day!
The Spring season commenced from 1st March at 12 venues across the capital. During this season, Try Tag Rugby held the 3rd annual Wasps Tag Rugby Festival at Twyford Avenue Sports Ground in Acton with a record 30 teams participating.
The UK Tag Rugby community raised £406 for the Oscar Bickley foundation thanks to the great efforts of Shannon Bennett and Lakeetta Attkins.
The 2014 Wasps Tag Rugby tournament was taken out by Tumeke, defeating previous champions, Chargers in the final.
We moved onto the Early Summer season from 28th April which saw another participation record broken, with 248 teams battling it out across 15 venues in London and Reading.
The team at Try Tag Rugby partnered up with the London Irish Rugby club for a 2nd consecutive year, by hosting the 2014 Hog ‘n’ Ale Tag Rugby Festival at the Avenue in Sunbury-on-Thames, on 3rd May.
Tumeke were too strong for the 16 team field and took home the spoils with an unbeaten performance throughout the event.
On 25th May, Try Tag Rugby partnered up with the team at the Nathan Cubitt Trust to help run the 3rd annual Nathan Cubitt Tag Rugby Event in Keighley, Yorkshire. All money raised from the event is donated to the Nathan Cubitt Trust which helps players who have suffered serious injuries whilst playing contact Rugby.
London based team, Garlic Breed defeated many northern challengers to bring the trophy back to the nation’s capital.
May was a busy month for Try Tag Rugby, with not only the peak season taking place but the 3rd one day tournament was to take place on 31st May in which Try Tag Rugby partnered with Summer Social (previously Rugby Rocks) and held the 3rd annual Summer Social Tag Festival in Richmond.
A record 25 teams entered but it was the Chargers who added another trophy to their cabinet, defeating Tagquila Shots in the final which was a repeat of the 2012 final.
The popular Try Tag Rugby International Cup tournament was held in Acton on 14th June with London Australia claiming the mixed A grade title, London New Zealand the Intermediate title and the London ANZACS led by inspirational captain Terence Hulme claimed the mixed social grade title.
The Summer season commenced on 24th June with a record 240 teams playing during the season.
July saw the start of an action pack International series for Great Britain with home and away series against Ireland plus fixtures against world champions Australia as well as many London based Kiwis getting involved with the London Residents teams that were due to meet the Australian national teams.
The first of the Internationals for Great Britain against Australia & Ireland took place in Limerick on the eve of the northern hemisphere’s biggest Tag Rugby tournament, the Pig N Porter which featured a whopping 120 team entries.
The International series categories were mixed open’s, men’s opens, ladies opens and mixed seniors. The GB girls won all their three ties against the Irish and the Great Britain men’s team managed the nation’s first ever win over the Aussies in any category, with a 5-4 triumph in one of the ties.
At the Pig N Porter tournament, London’s very own, Tumeke Hippos performed admirably claiming the title against a strong Australian side and brought the trophy back to London and a cool €1000 cheque for their efforts.
The week after the Pig N Porter tournament, the Aussies and Irish came over to play against the Great Britain squads at Twyford Avenue Sports Ground in Acton.
Great Britain was defeated by the Aussies and the Irish (who won the British & Irish Cup), but they put in good performances, kept improving and set a standard to build on for the 2015 Tag World Cup.
Try Tag Rugby’s marquee event, the 2014 London Tag Rugby Championships was next on the calendar. This tournament was the biggest Tag tournament in the UK for the year with 38 teams taking part across three divisions and took place on 16th August at East London RFC.
The tournament always has a fancy dress theme with the 2014 theme being Heroes & Villains and people certainly put in a lot of effort! Tumeke Hippos defeated the Southfield Sharks in a nail biter of a final. The mighty Tagoloshe were awarded the best fancy dress prize. After the matches were wrapped up, the fun continued as the after party commenced and finished late into the night in the giant marquee with a DJ blasting out the tunes.
On 13th September, the London Tag Origin series and Provincial Challenge was held in Acton. South London defeated North London in the 2014 London Origin series, winning their 2nd series (2011 & 2014) and bringing the series leader board closer, now at 3-2 to North London. The home team, South England were too strong, going through the Provincial Challenge undefeated to claim their first Provincial Challenge title.
The 11th of October was the date for the annual North London Tag Festival. A brand new venue at Saracens ARFC saw a record 23 teams fight it out for the title. The Sober Lane Superfreaks travelled over from Dublin and gave the local teams a good run for their money, but in the end it was Tumeke Hippos who secured the title to finish off a very successful year!
The final one day tournament of the year was the second International Cup, held at Acton. On a beautiful sunny day on the 1st of November a record 23 teams entered, with successful debuts from Germany, Scotland, USA & Canada.
London Australia (Green) won the A grade, London New Zealand took home the Cup, London USA & Canada were awarded the Plate and the consistent London ANZACS won the Bowl.
The year concluded with the Try Tag Rugby Christmas Party on 28th November at Phibbers pub. One of the most anticipated social events of the year, this party has a habit of exposing secret crushes and being the start of new relationships, and 2014 didn’t disappoint.
The annual Try Tag Rugby awards are handed out at the Christmas party with the accolades going to the following:
Team of the year — Tumeke Hippos
Most improved team of the year – Tag Me Up & Down
Team organiser of the year — Ian Kerr (Speight’s)
Referee of the year — Russell Crane
Most social team of the year — Phibbers
Best & fairest male player of the year — Matt Picknett (Chargers)
Best & fairest female player of the year — Teagan Southwell (Chargers)
Most improved male player of the year — Richard Seedhouse (Fun Loving Taggers)
Most improved female player of the year — Breda Lyons (Tag Kill A Mockingbird)
#russellcrane award for best banter on social media — Russell Crane
As you can see, 2014 was a mammoth year for Tag Rugby in the UK, and 2015 is shaping up to be even bigger and better!
All your favourite tournaments and venues will be back in 2015 as well as a few new ones, including the launch of leagues up in Yorkshire.
All the Tag Rugby social events will be back including the Summer Season Launch Party, Day Out to the London 7’s, the Thames Boat Cruise, and the popular Christmas party. The Corporate Challenge will be returning, this time partnered with a charity.
For the elite Tag Rugby players, there will be Great Britain World Cup squad trials (9th May), including a tour to Ireland and the 2015 Tag World Cup held in Australia 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.
For Kiwis new to London, if you get involved you will make a heap of new friends, keep fit and have loads of fun. We hope to welcome you to a Tag Rugby pitch soon!
If you would like to get involved in a Try Tag Rugby competition or event, go to www.trytagrugby.com or email [email protected] for more details.