On Saturday, 10 fit healthy lads and Jaco of us tripped up to Farnham to play in their social 7s tournament as the Holbrook Hurricanes.
Our first two pool matches were against Farnham RFC and Farnham Academy. After a first game stuffing of Farnham RFC (on their hometurf) thanks to some fancy footwork from Jeran Heritage and line breaking (hand off to the face) play from Luca Giardino, attentions now turned to the Academy team who were all faster, younger and fitter than us. After some dodgy kicking by Ash Sporne, an early 7 - 0 lead was quickly lost by the Hurricanes. Things went from worst to worse still when the Hurricanes tried to force play and ended up having try after try scored against them. Then after some beautiful link play by Toby Deck, Ash Sporne managed to run through unopposed and score under the posts. The final score was a loss to the Hurricanes of 24 to 14.
However, after each match the teams are required to participate in a tug of war. There is a total of 3 tugs worth 5 points each to the total of the last game. The Hurricanes showed their superior strength over the academy (may have been something to do with Jaco being the anchor) and won all three making the final score 25 - 24 to the Hurricanes.
After a 2 hour wait until the quarter final, the Hurricanes were scheduled to play the mainly Welsh Dragons. Having lost Toby Deck, the Hurricanes were down one man. A well placed re-start from Ash Sporne enable Bambi to collect and spin wide for a simple try in the corner for Lee Hayes. The Dragons answered with another score with the Hurricanes quickly answering back through Ash Sporne and Jeran Heritage tries. The Dragons refused to let the English beat them and scored a further 2 tries bringing to score to 19 points each. In the last play of the game, Capt Richie decided he was a one man army and crossed the pitch twice, before finding a gap and cheekily offloading to Ash Sporne for the match winning try.
The Hurricanes were now running strong going into the quarter finals, however with an exhausted Bambi and an injured Kev Wearing
we were severely under strength. We were down to play the Wet Dreams team (sponsored by Kleenex) who scored a soft try in the first minute of the game through a loose ball bounce. Wet Dreams dominated the First half with the score just before halftime being 26 to 0. The Hurricanes, not being ones to give up, fought back through some strong running by Luca Giardino bringing the score to 7 to 21 at halftime.
After an inspirational speech by Capt Richie at halftime (revolving around our bragging rights if we won and got into the final) the Hurricanes were more focused in the 2nd half. With some strong defending from Matthew 'Lomu' Dawson and Bambi, the Hurricanes fought to regain possession for a good period of the 2nd half. The Canes then scored through some typical Jeran 'I like to run away from support' Heritage sniping around the blindside of a scrum. The ref then confirmed the score to be 14 to 26 with 4 minutes remaining. During the next restart, after a turnover display any openside flanker would have been proud of by Ash Sporne and Captain Richie at the breakdown, they set up the man mountain that is Jaco DeBeer in to smash 3 players in a row before offloading to Lomu Dawson. Quick hands from Lomu to Capt Richie who threw a dummy only to bring it back inside to Luca Giardino gave them the try that was needed to get within touching distance of the victory. Then the ref blew for fulltime much to the upset of the Hurricanes who had thoroughly enjoyed their day and the trip to the semi final.
Next year, we aim to win all of our matches and to hopefully enter a FatBoy team into the competition.
Many thanks to all of those who played.