Photo by Sally Mills
It started off with the all mighty world champions, Oztag Australia’s tour of Ireland in which they played against opponents from Irish regions such as Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Cork and Limerick.
On Friday, 11th July, the first ever tri series between the nations of Australia, Great Britain and Ireland took place in Limerick. The Aussies were too strong in most divisions except in the mixed open’s in which Ireland were declared the champions.
Great Britain managed their historic first ever victory over Australia in the men’s open division in a tight 5-4 tussle.
The next day saw the popular Pig n’ Porter Tag Rugby Festival take place in Limerick which is the largest Tag Rugby tournament in the northern hemisphere, this year attracting a record 150 teams!
London had a number of teams travel over for the prestigious tournament in which all managed to reach the quarter final stages of their respective divisions.
In an all London semi final in the A grade division, two-time Pig n’ Porter champions, the Chargers were due to take on Tumeke Hippos. In a brilliant display of Tag Rugby by both teams, it wasn’t to be the Chargers year, going down 2-1 in a match of epic proportions.
Tumeke Hippos put in another sensational display to defeat an Australian team in the final, which was made up of all Australian representative players, to take the trophy back to London for the 3rd successive year (Chargers won in 2012 & 2013) and pocketing 1000 euros and a bar tab for their efforts!
On Tuesday, 15th July, the Australians finished the final leg of their UK and Ireland tour with a three match test series in London. The world champions won all four divisions (men’s opens, ladies opens, mixed opens & mixed seniors) but definitely noticed how much Great Britain had improved since their last tour to the UK in 2011.
On Friday, 18th July, the might of the London Residents were due to meet the touring Irish national sides, which were playing on British soil for the first time. The London Residents representative sides are selected from players who reside in London regardless of nationality so a host of Kiwis were in the fold.
The London Residents won two ties and lost two ties but Ireland won the series overall on points differential.
Ireland finished their UK tour off with a three match test series against Great Britain on Saturday, 19th July. The matches were played in hot and sunny conditions but it was Ireland who was sizzling on the pitch as they held the British & Irish Cup up at the end of the series.
The Great Britain ladies opens team managed three wins over Ireland and the men’s opens team managed one win, one draw and one loss but Ireland were too strong in the mixed opens and mixed seniors divisions, winning all matches.
With the Aussies and the Irish enjoying their tours to London, we can expect to see more International teams make their way over in the future.
Tag Rugby’s elite players now have their sights on the 2015 Tag World Cup, which will be taking place on the Sunshine Coast in Australia in December next year.
The London Tag Rugby community are now bracing themselves for the UK’s biggest Tag Rugby Festival to wrap up the summer, the 2014 London Tag Rugby Championships which will be held at East London RFC in West Ham on Saturday, 16th of August.
The London Tag Rugby Championships attracted 42 teams across three divisions in 2013 with this year’s event expected to exceed this amount.
Photo by Carl Duckels
Registrations close on Friday, 8th August so don’t delay and get your registrations in to avoid missing out! Registration is available to teams, part teams and individuals.
Meanwhile, the Autumn Tag Rugby leagues are now open for registration. The Autumn leagues commence from Tuesday, 26th August onward.
Autumn leagues are taking place at the following venues: Acton, Barnes, Battersea Park (mixed & men’s), Borough, Clapham Common, Highbury, Olympic Park, Rotherhithe (mixed & men’s), Shoreditch (mixed & men’s), Tooting Bec & White City.
With over 240 teams currently playing in Summer leagues across London and Reading and far less venues available in Autumn, most leagues will sell-out far in advance of the registration deadlines. Make sure to register ASAP to avoid missing out!
The Autumn leagues cater to all standards of players from the elite to the complete beginner with each venue having a number of divisions.
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 or event, go to www.trytagrugby.com or email [email protected] for more details.