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Maple Leafs, New York star in Tobago Sevens
After several days of experiencing T&T’s diverse culture, Canada’s Maple Leafs captured the US$5,000 cash prize, while New York City Sevens secured the men’s crown, at the close of the third-annual Carib Tobago RFC International Rugby Sevens Tournament, at Black Rock Recreational Ground, Bon Accord, on Sunday.
The action started earlier in the week with teams taking part in a Christmas carol singing session and goat racing on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
This year saw a noteworthy increase from 12 teams last year, to 32 registered teams which included 20 foreign teams from several parts of the US, UK, Canada, Mexico, Barbados, Guyana, Cayman Islands and St Lucia.
Referees from New Zealand, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, US, Bermuda and T&T were also key components in this successful tournament.
Over the past three years this tournament has been organised by Baxter’s Limited, under the experienced guidance of managing director, Brian Stollmeyer.
The twist this year, however, was the highlight of female rugby players and, it obviously worked, as it saw the inclusion of 14 foreign female teams of the total 16 teams competing in this division. This participation was encouraged by the generous prize of a trophy, medals and the US$5,000 award to the winner of the women’s division.
This was a great contrast to the male teams who vied for US$50, a case of beer and, of course bragging rights.
Despite a rainy start on Saturday, the competition started off keenly and continued on Sunday, under sunny skies, to the final where the Canadian team stole the win from its US opponent, Atlantis. In the Men’s division, New York City Sevens came back to beat English club, Esher Golden Lions, after falling to the same team earlier in the quarter-final round.
Noteworthy efforts were made from local teams such as the Harvard team which, although defeating the Esher Golden Lions in its group, failed to move into the semi-final because of a one-try difference.
The tournament was followed by a presentation ceremony and celebration party for the teams at Shade Nightclub.
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