Navy Sharks competing at Rugby Rocks London
The Sharks went to Rugby Rocks London with a large number of the squad that played at Manchester 2 weeks previously but reinforced by 3 senior XV players in Nath Huntley, Tom Davies and Greg Welling as well as one of last years squad, Loz Blackburn. This is a much more high profile tournament with some very well respected teams finding themselves in the Open Tier 1 with the Sharks.
First up in the pool for the Sharks was the Saxons, who beat the Sharks 10-5 at Manchester. The Sharks exacted revenge in spectacular style with a 50-10 win, with 3 tries for captain Ian Cooper and 2 each for Nath Huntley and Kyle Wood.
The Soy Galacticos were up next and they were similarly dispatched with a confident 2nd half performance leading to a 38-19 win as the Sharks continued to attack with great élan. As the last team in the pool failed to show up, the Sharks finished top of the group and so went into the cup competition.
In the quarter finals the Sharks met Redingensians, who came 2nd in their group on points difference. A strong team from a big club, they tested the Sharks early and the scores were level 12-12 at Ht. following a couple of changes and longer periods with the ball, the Sharks ran out 36-12 winners with a couple of excellent finishes from Tom Davies and Loz Blackburn.
In the semis, the Sharks faced Carmarthen Warriors who usually appear in the Elite competitions and included Wales 7s internationals and Welsh Premiership players in their side. Again the Sharks started slowly, trailing 19-10 with 4 mins to go. But excellent work by Jay Samuel led to a try for Huntley and then a late try by Welling saw the Sharks pull off a fantastic 20-19 win.
The final saw the Sharks face Filton College, the home of Bristol Rugby's Academy. A fantastic first half saw the Sharks get to HT 19-5 up. In the second half, the Sharks were unable to maintain any decent quality of possession and Filton made the most of any mistakes, scoring 3 tries to win 26-19.
A fantastic effort by the Sharks which saw some marked improvements by a number of players bodes well for the rest of the season. After the RN 7s on Weds 5th June at Castle Cary RFC the Sharks will head to West Country 7s at Keynsham on 15th June. They will then be at Newquay for the Surf 7s on the 29th June.
ET(WESM) Ian Cooper (C), Mne John Barnett, Sgt Loz Blackburn, AET Bobby Conroy-Smith, AB Tom Davies, Mne Nathan Huntley, ET(ME) Josh Jones, ET(ME) Jay Samuel, Mid Tristan Trehan, Mne Greg Welling, Mne Kyle Wood