Sharks First Bite in Benidorm
The Royal Navy Sharks Rugby 7s team has just competed for the first time in the Benidorm 7’s Tournament writes WO1 Don Shaw, Team Manager. The Benidorm 7s is a very well run popular event on the 7s circuit. The Tournament is hosted by La Villa Rugby Club in its beautiful new stadium in a place called Villajoyosa 8 kilometres outside Benidorm. The Royal Navy Sharks were honoured to be invited to compete in the International Selections Tournament. Teams from all over the world competed including Stellenbosch University Rugby Football Club the second oldest rugby club in South Africa. The club have 1,200 registered players and can boast to producing 164 Springbok rugby players of whom 15 were Springbok Captains. The Welsh Wizards boasting many Welsh and English premier players had also returned to defend their 2006 title. The Sharks found themselves drawn in the strongest group and unfortunately lost to Stellenbosch, who eventually won the tournament, in their first game. The South African unit were very fit, fast and slick and went on to take the title with little opposition. It was a bit of a shock for the Sharks to come up against such strong opposition in their first competitive game of the season. Under the watchful eye of coach CPOPT Billy May the team lifted itself up and went on to win its next 2 games beating Viator Barbarians from Spain 28 – 7, where Sub Lt Adam Dean scored 3 tries and Mne Carl Saunders 1. The 4 tries all involved some great team play, inter passing and support. The second game pitched the Sharks against Selecc’ion Moldavia who we went on to beat 21 – 7, Mne Carl Saunders displaying some great pace scored 2 tries and Mne Rob Lloyd, with an audacious side step, scored 1. Unfortunately, the hard ground and fierce competitiveness of the first 3 games took a bit of wind out of the team’s sails and it had a lengthy injury list on the start of the next day. Sub Lt Adam Dean was withdrawn with a leg injury and Physio, Philipa Gibbs, did a great job in strapping up hamstrings etc to keep the team going. The draw saw the Sharks face the Welsh Wizards, who with its premier league talent on show, was a bit too strong for an injury depleted Navy squad, the team lost to the Wizards 27 – 5, but AB Dave Roberts scored an excellent try when Mne Gaz Fear put him in space with a skilful pass. All in all it was a very successful showing for the Royal Navy Sharks in their first tournament of the season and another first in the Benidorm 7s. The Team left with heads held high and with the promise of another invite for next year. Benidorm 2008 here we come!