They call it seevens in the Borders

School holidays so I’ve got a wee bit of time to work on our annual 7s tournament.  This year we are back to the Women, Colts and Men playing over the Easter weekend.  I’ll bet there will be a few eggs on show, none of them chocolate……….  I remember playing 7s, got quite a few medals actually as it really suited my silky running and snaked hips.

It really is a great advert for rugby, exciting with lots of tries and noplace to hide.  TBH I’ve always thought it is how we should introduce rugby to the ‘non-fans’ or converts, I was lucky enough to work at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 7s at Ibrox was the real success story.  In fact, even my brother and nephew, confirmed wendyballers, still rave about the session they went to.

But 7s isn’t all fun and flare, in fact if someone decided to send a video of a tournament to the European Court of Human Rights, I reckon Ned Haig would be classed as a war criminal who specialised in torture.  Let’s face it half a team on a full-sized pitch for 15 minutes, oh a minute’s rest at ½ time makes all the difference, where you are expected to burst your lungs.  If you are in a decent team you can expect to repeat this sequence another 4 times in 4 hours, what a luxury.

It is a shame though that a number of teams have dropped their 7s, Strathmore (Forfar) on a Thursday night (1st one in April) where your reward for getting to the final was a cold shower and an even colder bridie!  Alloa was on a Sunday where the team least hungover normally won, with the exception of the year Kelso showed up with John Jeffries and 6 young pups and he just about won the whole thing on his own.

Honestly, it is always a great family day at the club and we don’t get much grief from bored teenagers as the Links market is in town; “SCREAM if you wanna go faster”.  We’ve been lucky with the weather, except when Bill Berry refereed in a hail storm, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the colts and ladies match up to their opponents.  The 7s game is actually a completely different way of playing rugby, as you should avoid contact at all cost but we’ve just spent the last 9 months coaching them to set up rucks or mauls to commit defenders.   The team who adapts quickest will do well but, there’s little substitute for pace as I recall I had the misfortune to try to chase down a Livingston winger at Glenrothes 7s many years ago, later I found out it was Olympic 100m Relay Silver medallist Elliot Bunney, who made me look like I was a slow-motion replay!!

One of the best things about 7s is the guest teams.  For the last few years we’ve had my good friend Don McPherson bringing a charity team

@TryUmphRFC

They’ve confirmed this year too, it’s a great cause to support.

Lots of local clubs are coming:

Ladies host Dunfermline, Grangemouth and Liberton on the Friday night

Colts host Dunfermline, Kelpies and Perth

Seniors host Dunfermline, Grangemouth, Strathmore, Perth, Glenrothes and of course the superstars that are the Wolverines

The Wolverines are a team of Legends, some of whom have held numerous titles above their heads over the years in Kirkcaldy jerseys.

Hope you manage to get along, be great to see you 😊