Convicts steal the show at rugby 7s festival

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Unlike at Glastonbury, the annual MK Rugby 7s Festival embraces the mud, and even thrives in it.

The popular tournament attracted clubs from all over the UK, with 36 signing up for the event, with the proceeds of more than £,1000 going to Willen Hospice.

Such is its popularity, there was also enough teams for a women’s competition for the first time.

The action kicked-off early on Saturday morning, with the Sure2Door Social tournament, designed for less experienced teams.

Eight teams took part in the final, which ended in a showdown between The Convicts and the AZOZ Village Cougars, both organised by Milton Keynes RUFC members.

AZOZ got off to a good start, but, after enjoying the social aspect of the game a little too much, ran out of steam in the final.

That left Convicts to take the glory, the trophy and of course the beer prize.

The ladies tournament this year comprised Find Rugby Now, RAF Pumas, Swift 7s, RFU Injured Players Foundation and local ladies’ team, the Bletchley Breakers.

High quality rugby from all sides left the Bletchley Breakers struggling to match the pace of the other teams, despite putting in a solid effort throughout.

Their hard work resulted in them being awarded the Fair Play award.

The final was contested by the Injured Players Foundation and Swift 7s. IPF talent showed through, with them running out 50 - 0 winners to take the Rugby:MK Ladies’ Shield.

The Zoti Sports Open tournament saw 16 teams battle it out. Squads from Milton Keynes, Towcester, Ampthill and Bletchley represented local rugby at its best.

The final was contested by ‘Cunning Stunts’, who had to field a weakened squad and Chelsea College Old Boys organised by Milton Keynes old boy Joe Gorman.

With their experience of the 7s circuit the Cunning Stunts proved too much for the Chelsea College Old Boys in the final, running out 41-10 winners to take the Zoti Sports Mens Open Cup.

The Marstons Hemingway Elite tournament was tackled by eight top teams including Hammerheads from Olney.

Belief 7s were back to defend their 2013 title, but unfortunately they were also not able to field a strong squad with a number of players at the Rome 7s.

From the off, it was obvious the quality of this year’s tournament would be exceptional, with Wizards of Wales and Leicester Lions winning their respective pools.

Leicester Lions progressed to the final after beating Oxfam Crusaders 55 - 5 in the semis and Wizards of Wales running out 28–7 winners against last year’s champions Belief 7s.

With the majority of the team consisting of top quality players from the Welsh leagues, Wizards of Wales had the edge in the final and they took Milton Keynes Rugby 7s Hemingway Shield glory with a 34–8 win in a hard fought match against National League 2 team Leicester