BLACKS MIDNIGHT RUGBY 7’S, SINGAPORE 26-27 AUGUST 2006
This inaugural Midnight sevens rugby tournament was held by Black RFC Singapore, in honour of one of their late female players, the female tournament ran alongside the men's and they played for the Jane Lee Trophy. HMS WESTMINSTER RUGBY 7's TEAM, SINGAPORE 06 HMS Westminster was invited to this tournament, as we were alongside in Singapore for the duration; other teams from Guam, Hong Kong and Thailand were also entered. Since leaving the UK in mid June, Westminster's Rugby team have been progressing well and playing various teams en-route to the Far East, however a 7's tournament provided us with a different but exciting challenge. We arrived at Blacks RFC on the outskirts of Singapore City Centre at 1500 which gave us plenty of time to find a sheltered spot in the stands and settle in for the night. Once we had ripped open our goodie bags and discovered magazines and shampoo and conditioner all provided by the sponsors, it was time to switch on and begin the warm up. We were placed in group MC and drawn against 2 local sides, the first being Northern Knights. From the kick off it was obvious that WSTR would dominate the play by using simple but well rehearsed tactics, enabling MEA Richard Wood to score the first try after 3 minutes of play. The re-start saw Knights bring on two of their more experienced players and on the stroke of half time they had scored a try. The second half saw WSTR drawing themselves into play and for a moment losing concentration, which allowed knights to score and convert the final try of the game. Final Score Westminster 5 – Northern Knights 13. A two and a half hour wait allowed time for some local cuisine to be washed down with free cans of Red Bull (one of the sponsors), before taking on the second team in the group, Blacks RFC, the host team and reigning champions of the Singapore 7's. After watching them play the other team in our group and beat them 76 – 0, we knew this game was going to be a tougher one than the last one. However, WSTR went out raring to go. Despite several efforts to break away by MEA Sion Jenkins, L/S Chris Isbell and OM Matt Hitchcock, WSTR could not break the solid line of defence of the Blacks. The final score of only 25-0 to Blacks, was testament to WSTR defensive play, especially after watching previous games. 0030 27 Aug saw Westminster's rugby team return to the comfort of their beds back on board ready to fight the next day. Position in the table - 3rd. At 1200, 27 Aug, Westminster's rugby team left the comfort of on board air conditioning and returned to Blacks RFC. Our first game at 1400 was the Vase Semi Final against Combined ITE Singapore. WSTR were again first on the score sheet after a simple looped pass scrum half OM Max Oscroft scored on the 5 minute mark. Some dubious decisions from the referee allowed ITE to score and convert on the stroke of half time, this unnerved the WSTR lads and at the restart ITE slipped the net and scored and converted again. Final score after some questionable refereeing decisions was WSTR 5 ITE 16 The Vase 3rd/4th place play off saw WSTR drawn against Singapore BaBa's, who at the reporting stand 5 mins before kick off were no were to be seen. After broadcast pipes had been made it became obvious that they had packed up and gone home for the day, giving WSTR a walkover and 3rd place in the Vase Competition. The tournament finished at 2000 that day with Bedok Kings, an Expatriate team; being crowned the Midnight 7's champions of 2006. We all headed to the post tournament party which was held in the centre of town, dressed to the nines in pyjamas, a rig which was decided to carry on the midnight theme! After recovering from aching muscles and making new friends, the members of Westminster's Rugby Club are proud of their achievements at the competition, we gave our everything and more through out the whole event, demonstrated courage, determination and enthusiasm and showed Singapore that HMS Westminster and Royal Navy Rugby Union are by no means a walkover and will rise to any challenge put in front of them. Westminster left Singapore on 10 September heading further East, visiting more exciting and interesting places and playing more rugby.