South African Vipers win Singapore Rugby Sevens
Sunday, November 8, 2009
South African Vipers completed a hat-trick to win their third consecutive Singapore Cricket Club International Rugby Sevens. Unbeaten throughout the two day tournament the South African team beat Fijian team Davetalevu by a margin of 24 points without allowing the Fijian team to score throughout the 20 minute final. In a replay of last years final, where the Vipers won 10-5, the mostly expatriate crowd rallied behind the Fijian team in an effort to create an upset against the Vipers who are the domestic development team of South African Sevens.
It was tough and tight start with both teams putting heavy tackles and showing strong defence until the sixth minute when the SA Vipers finally managed a fast run down the left wing to score a converted try. From that point is looked ominous for Davetalevu as the Vipers began to find openings in nearly every move and only passionate defence keeping the Vipers at bay from further scoring, finishing the first half 5-0.
Only two minutes into the second half the Vipers breached Davetalevu's defence and scored a relatively easy try yet failing to convert. A few minutes later Vipers crossed again and then scored a further try down the favoured left wing to bring the margin to 24-0 which would be the final score. The talent and form of the South Africans clearly showed as they have been touring for the past months.
In the minor finals the Casuarina Cougars easily won the Bowl competition with a 17-0 defeat of Australian team East Arnhem Rugby. The Plate final saw a strong performance from Borneo Eagles to beat New Zealand team Oriental Rongotai by 31 to 5. Leading 12-5 at half-time the Eagles never seemed troubled during the final.
The weekend was an emotional event for the Brunei Flying Kukris who recently returned from a tour of Afghanistan where they tragically lost two of their regiment. Serving out of Borneo the squad gathered before the commencement of their quarter-final to pay respect both to their own squadron but also in tribute to Remembrance Day which coincided with the weekend tournament. A minute of silence in respect to fallen soldiers was observed. Despite mixed results for the tournament the Kukris managed to qualify for the Jug Final. Kukris scored a try after full-time yet failing to convert a relatively simple kick that would have won the game for them. Final score was 21-20 with Singapore Barbarians taking the honours.
Featuring teams from thirteen nations from as far as Kenya, South Africa and Scotland the tournament has grown from success to success over the past years and now features on the calendar of major sporting events in Singapore. The tournament began in 1947 and an invitational event for Singapore and Malaysian teams and since grown into national and club teams from around the world are invited. It is hoped that the SCC 7s will soon feature on the International Rugby Boards 7s circuit according to club officials. The competition also included the return of the SCC Schools and Colleges tournament as well as the qualifying round for the International Rugby Board's Womens Rugby World Cup.