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Victory at the Surrey 7s
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Published: 3 August 2022
This Article was Written by: Old Reigatian RFC
The stage was set for the return of the Nature Boys at the Surrey 7s Tournament, the flair department of Old Reigatian’s, dared to be dreamt and assembled by Gary Smith, to retain their title.
If you like your rugby hot and played on a fast wicket, then this was the tournament for you. With a mixture of household names and new talent putting their hands up for selection this season at Park Lane, the Nature Boys fielded arguably their strongest 2 teams to date. The A’s were captained by 7’s natural Max Coyle and managed by a man affectionately known as ‘not so big Sam’ and the two soon struck up a winning formula that made E=MC2 look like the scribblings of a 10 year old on a sugar rush.
With sun cream applied and knees vaseline’d, it was time for the Nature Boys to chase the egg.
Game 1 Vs Old Cats
The first game bought some familiar faces in an opposing strip as the Nature Boys faced Old Cats in their opening game. With a trademark ‘Wooo’ that all but guaranteed the win, the game kicked off. With a time of 39 hours and 18 minutes, ultra-marathon runner Damien Hall previously held the record for the quickest coast to coast, but this was booted to touch by the Nature Boys as they went the width of the pitch twice before the likeliest of unlikely men, Jack Baart, tore through the line and strode under the posts for the first meat pie of the game. With some classy feet that was to become a source of crowd wonder throughout the day, Reigate’s answer to Gillies Kaka (look him up), Charlie Spawforth soon added to the points tally. Two more tries settled the Nature Boys nerves before half time but with the manager turning his attention to keeping the boys hydrated, mental and physical notes of try scorers were not maintained.
The Geriatric Kittens hit back with two tries to sandwich half time but like sweeping back the tide with a broom, they were unable to stem the flow. Honourable mentions go to Finn ‘one lung’ Coyle and Woody, who we think crossed over the line…. probably, these chap’s do it for fun.
The Rest of the Group Stage
Going on as they had started, the Nature Boys won their remaining two group stages with a mixture of stoic defence and fluid attack. Some memorable highlights include the following: Dan Jones running round the ruck, down the blindside and immediately off the pitch. Woody rescuing a certain 7 pointer with a footrace into his own try zone, returning to the field of play before zipping a beautiful spiral miss pass 10 metres, wrapped with a bow and missing a gift receipt, into the hands of the opposition for a walk over. Jack Baart was given a mandated breather by the referee for hugging the opposition on the ground just long enough to become uncomfortable, but it wasn’t all guffs and blunders for the Nature Boys. Ryan Travers got in on the action alongside the Skipper Max Coyle. Gareth showed that he has a tendency to score tries on the big occasions making some vital contributions with some excellent pace. Luke Quartermaine, likewise, put his top on long enough to break some ankles and get over the whitewash. As the saying goes: for every powerful man, there’s a Tom Allen providing an assist.
Regulars at Park Lane will have seen the exploits that Tom supplied to the first XV at the end of last season and some attribute his skill to the reason Reigatian’s have sold out of season tickets this year. However, it would be in the last minutes of the final game of the group stage that Tom would be selfish enough to cross over for himself. Naked Dash avoided. Job done.
Having safely navigated the group stages it was onto the cup Semi Final. Having seen off Akuma Beavers Purple in the group stage, it was time to take on the Akuma Beavers Pink. Looking to confuse the Nature Boys with their colour themed names, the Akuma Beavers were a daunting prospect and opening play was cagey. But the Nature Boys are colour blind. This was a match that needed to be broken open and ready and waiting for this moment was Luke Trigg. Rumour has it he never read ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ while growing up because he already knew the message: if you can’t go round it, go through it. Feeding on oppositions weak shoulders, Trigg strode through the defence, riding the cover tackle before deftly passing the ball onto Finn for the try. Looking to strike back immediately the Akuma Beavers gave it to their pace man in broken play. In a covering tackle that drew audible gasps, Harrison proved why you can’t leave this man off the team sheet. Using just one finger to snag the back of the opposition’s jersey, Harrison reeled in the Beaver and brought him down. A certain try saved. The Akuma Beavers never recovered, and the Nature Boys went to work. I have neither the memory or the dexterity to list the try scorers and by the end of the game my travel abacus had broken. But it was a buffet of tries seldom seen in a semi final that left the Nature Boys Woooing and the Akumer Beavers Pink looking blue.
Unfortunately, the Nature Boys didn’t come through unscathed, and Tom Allen took a knock to the head, joining the prestigious of players who have bled for the jersey. The final would have to be won without him.
The Nomads, convinced to leave their homes for the weekend, were an unknown entity. Glances across the paddock during the day confirmed that they were quick with some tactical nous to boot. When dealing with the unknown you look to your leader and Max Coyle didn’t blink. We’re not sure why gravity works differently for Max but after a soring catch to claim the restart, we didn’t care. That small battle won, the tone for the team was set. Defence wins you championships and the engine room of Ryan Tavers, Jack Baart, Dan Jones and Luke Trigg went to work. The Nomads put some pressure on the Nature Boys but after some classy side to side passing, it was Gareth again who turned up for the big occasion, going round his opposite winger for a try in the corner. The Nomads refused to go away however and soon hit back with one of their own. Some great play by Charlie Spawforth and a rampaging Finn Coyle kept up the pressure and it wasn’t long before Gareth went over again. Harrison ‘The Albatross’ put his wingspan to good use and held his ground in the middle of the pitch and the Nature Boys grew in confidence as the seconds ticked by. They were winning but the game had not been won. It was eerily quiet, too quiet, which means one thing: Woody was concentrating. And when Woody concentrates, more often than not, meat pies are scored. Having gone through more brooms than Trigger while sweeping at the back, Woody went full attack mode and latched onto the end of some well worked play through the middle. Linking up with his best friend Finn Coyle, Mr Hollywood himself went right up Broadway and under the posts The Final had been won, the Nomads sent home and the Nature Boys very much ‘Wooing’.
Riding high on their victory the Nature Boys set out to celebrate their win. They had done what they came to do, what Gary Smith dreamed they would do: prove that on a hot weekend in August, they were the best 7s team in Surrey.