Try Tag Rugby held its last one-day tournament for the year on Saturday, 1 November at Twyford Avenue Sports Ground, in Acton with a record 23 teams vying for trophies across four divisions. As per the recent North London Tag Festival (11 October), the weather gods were extremely kind yet again to the Tag community with a beautiful warm sunny day. Some players were even reaching for the sunscreen and were questioning if it really was November.
The International Cup tournament is an individual entry tournament in which players from all across London & Reading come together to join teams of their nations, don their national colours on and represent their nations with pride. This tournament gives players the chance to play with different people, make a heap of new friends in the process and enjoy a brilliant after party.
The tournament had four trophies up for grabs which were for the A grade division and for the Intermediate grade Cup division (teams which finished first to sixth), Plate division (teams which finished seventh to 12) and Bowl division (teams which finished 13 to 18) titles.
The mixed A grade division featured five teams which were; London Australia Green, London Australia Gold, London Ireland, London New Zealand and Try Tag Rugby England.
The A grade featured numerous close and exciting matches, split only by one to two points, with all teams very evenly matched. After the pool stages, the final series was as per the old classic top five finals series in the old Rugby League Winfield Cup days with all teams still eligible to make the finals, but the higher up you finished, the easier your run to the grand finale was.
Try Tag Rugby England finished in fifth position and nearly completed a fairy tale run to the finals by first knocking out London New Zealand (fourth Vs fifth match) with a last minute try by speedster, Ben Picknett to break the hearts of the Kiwis. They then knocked out London Australia Gold to advance to meet London Ireland for another elimination semi-final with the winner progressing to the grand finale. London Ireland got the win in the narrowest of margins in which London Australia Green were waiting for them in the grand finale.
Despite, London New Zealand bowing out in fifth position, they managed a brilliant victory over London Ireland and a draw against London Australia Green, the eventual finalists.
London New Zealand (Mixed A Grade): Richie Cawthorn, Pete Ellis, Svend Fieldes, Reece Glozier, Francis Naera, Sean Rogers, Kieran Stuart, Julie Cox, Kayla Dynes, Kate Hendon, Sharnie Pokai, Gemma Wynne-Lewis
In the Cup division, defending champions, London New Zealand performed admirably all tournament, going through undefeated but it wasn’t all smooth sailing with one draw in the pool stages. The Kiwis defeated London South Africa in a close final to take home both the June & November Cup division titles. Kiwi Graham Bracey was awarded player of the final.
London New Zealand (Cup division): Dave Atkinson, Graham Bracey, Jesse Dalton, Allen Hy, Jeremy Medlin, Daryl Owens, Kane Rutene, Shay Wilson, Jennifer Chateris, Danielle Goodall, Kiri Haggart, Lindy Nelson Parker, Rachel Wards
The Plate division saw newcomers, London USA take on London Ireland Wolfhounds in the final. Despite whatever the outcome of the final would be, it was a huge effort by the Americans to make a closing in their first outing at an International Cup tournament. Team USA managed a 3-0 victory over the Irish to take home the silverware. Alex Coombs from London USA was best on ground in the final.
Finally, the Bowl division saw the June champions; the London ANZACS come up against Try Tag Rugby England White in what promised to be an epic final. The London ANZACS which featured seven Kiwis were too strong in the end for the home team with ANZAC, Aaron Peardon claiming the player of the final award.
London ANZACS (Bowl division): Nick Everitt (NZL), Terence Hulme (AUS), Tim Jung (AUS), Joe O’Connell (NZL), Aaron Peardon (AUS), Jared Weatherhead (NZL), Pilar Catalan de Ocon (NZL), Tania Christie (NZL), Lydia Crockett (NZL), Sue Maroroa (NZL), Kylie Smith (AUS)
Each division also featured a male and female player of the tournament award with the following players winning the accolades:
A Grade male player of the tournament – Cliff Callahan (London Ireland)
A Grade female player of the tournament – Claire McAteer (London Ireland)
Cup division male player of the tournament – Jake Powell (Try Tag Rugby England Red)
Cup division female player of the tournament – Miriam Howe (Try Tag Rugby England Red)
Plate division male player of the tournament – Adrian Doyle (London Ireland Wolfhounds)
Plate division female player of the tournament – Garnet Mackinder (London USA)
Bowl division male player of the tournament – Richard Seedhouse (Try Tag Rugby England White)
Bowl division female player of the tournament – Caroline Henzell (Try Tag Rugby England White)
The International Cup tournament finished with a five hour after party with the DJ spinning some classic tunes, with the keener party animals kicking onto the nearby Chatsworth pub until the early hours of the morning.
Try Tag Rugby deemed the Autumn International Cup hands down the biggest and best yet with some great weather, some fantastic Tag Rugby on display played in excellent spirit and plenty of teams and nations represented, including new mixed teams Germany, Scotland & USA who all performed outstanding in their debut tournament.
In other news, Try Tag Rugby’s Winter leagues are filling up fast. The Winter season commences from 17 November onward at 11 venues across London.
Leagues will be taking place at the following venues:
Monday: Acton, Borough, Tooting Bec, Upper Holloway
Tuesday: Olympic Park
Thursday: Barnes, East London RFC
Saturday: Brixton, Caledonian Road, Wandsworth Town
Note: All Winter venues are played on AstroTurf, 3G or 4G surfaces except for Acton & Tooting Bec which are played on grass.
With 183 teams currently playing in Autumn leagues across London and far less venues available in Winter, most leagues will sell-out. 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.
Photos: Thomas Ralph