After Varsity glory last term against Cambridge, last week the women’s Blues rugby sevens team pitted themselves against universities from around the country in the shorter version of the game. It was an early start for OUWRFC but that didn’t dampen spirits as they headed to Hinckley RFC in confident mood for the BUCS sevens championship.
They were drawn in a pool with Coventry, Glamorgan and Loughborough. With kit as bright as the weather OUWRFC certainly lived up to the mantra of look good, play good, opening with victory 25-0 over Coventry. Glamorgan posed a tougher challenge, but OUWRFC bravely fought back from three tries to one down to triumph 17-15. Their final pool match to Loughborough was always going to be an uphill battle; with captain Tatiana Cutts overheard describing it as ‘lambs to the slaughter’. OUWRFC nevertheless played with their heads held high and developed throughout the game, simply surpassed by a superior opposition.
This meant OUWRFC finished second in their pool and faced a semi-final against Birmingham. On this occasion they came out all guns firing, putting down two early tries in quick succession, setting the tone for the rest of the match. The physicality OUWRFC displayed in this game was notably upped and the final score lay at 27-10. The plate final against Exeter on the main pitch promised an exciting denouement to the day. Sadly, OUWRFC were not able to raise their game sufficiently against the National 15s Cup champions and lost 32-0.
The day finished with 9 exhausted, slightly sunburnt, but very happy and proud players. The days top try-scorers were Charlie Brown, Tess Braunerova and Liz Dubois, whilst Ann Tivey was named player of the tournament. Special mention should go to Hannah Winfield who played almost every minute despite battling a chest infection. However, all players rose valiantly to the occasion and were justifiably delighted with this excellent result: finishing 6th out of 16 teams overall.
OUWRFC captain elect Tatiana Cutts was delighted with the team’s achievements: ‘“Aside from a couple of bloody noses, sore heads and impressive t-shirt burns, it was quite the series of achievements: we beat two teams (Glamorgan and Birmingham) to whom we had lost during the 15s season, came 6th out of 16 on our BUCS 7s debut, and I didn’t crash the minibus. A special shout out to Ann, who scored at least 500 tries, to our coach Sean Morris (particularly for his patience and ability to reset dislocated fingers) and to the team: I have never run out with a team that played with more heart than those 8 girls. They were phenomenal.”