Army firepower earns sixth title
8:00am Friday 10th August 2012 in Sport
WATCHED by Sevens President JPR Williams, the British Army won the Cwmtawe 7s for the sixth time on Saturday when they overran the Samurais 45-10 in the final at Parc Ynysderw, writes Huw S Thomas.
The Carmarthen Warriors won the Plate when beating Swansea 26-21 in the final and Trebanos dominated the Shield competition for local Neath and Swansea Valley sides The Army’s dazzling display brought the curtain down on the ever popular tournament which has been attracting top players and top teams since its inception in 1983.
The tournament – sponsored by Samurai Rugby Gear, Costain and the Towers Hotel – has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for local hospitals and is now Wales’ top sevens tournament.
The Army claimed the prize of £4,000 thanks to wonderful teamwork, strength in the contact area and the tricky running of Ben Seru, Semesa Rokodugini and Pate Vakasawaqa.
The talented attackers were just three of 11 serving Fijian soldiers in the squad, captained by South African Gerhard Wessels.
The win was all the more worthy as most of their top players were either away on Olympic Games security duty or on duty in Afghanistan.
They were never seriously challenged all day, the best of the opposition Ponty Butchers holding them to 29-5 in the semi final.
The Samurais were expected to run the Army close but even with the assistance of Kenyan IRB 7s captain Humphrey Kayange, they could not hold a candle to the Army’s resolve, sevens expertise and finishing power.
Of the Welsh sides Neath and Swansea showed up well.
The All Whites with Dan Baker in great form gave the Samurais a really hard game at the pool stage before going down 22-12 and the young All Blacks led by Aaron Bramwell lost 26-0 to the Samurais in the semi final after winning their pool well.
The Army ran riot in a one-sided final with Rokodugini getting a hattrick of tries to add to those from Player of the Tournament Seru (2), Ratu Speight and Seremain Cataki.
It was the Army’s sixth sevens win of the season and they now travel to the USA in an attempt to win the International Defence Sevens against the cream of army sides from all over the world.
The Plate for teams finishing second in their pool went the way of the Carmarthen Warriors who, after defeat to the Army, edged home in two thrillers to claim the £1,000 prize.
They pipped the Welsh Wizards 31-26 with a brilliant last-ditch try from Gareth Walters and then did the same to Swansea when Guyana’s IRB 7s international Richard Giles crossed in stoppage time to win the final 26-21.
The Shield competition for local valley sides was won by a classy confident Trebanos coached by former Swansea scrum-half Rhodri Jones and Welsh international Justin Tipuric.
They added the Cwmtawe title to the Chunky Sevens which they won at Ystalyfera the week before and did it in style, scoring 213 points in six games and conceding just 31.
Skippered by Nathan Jones they had the Most Promising Player of the tournament in speedster Matthew Edwards who grabbed three tries in the 32-7 win over Cwmavon in the Shield final.
The new Ladies competition was won by Neath Athletic, captained by Siwan Lillicrap who outplayed Seven Sisters 36-0 in the final while in the fledgling Junior event Pontardawe proved best at U13 with a 10-0 win over Bryncoch and the U15 final was a 10-10 draw between Pontardawe and Bryncoch.