Success at the Sauventus Varsity 7s!

Monday 22 April 2024

The 2024 Sauventus Scottish Varsity Sevens was held at Strathmore RFC in Forfar. Saints Rugby Men’s and Women’s team had prepared well for the tournament and had ambitions on winning their respective competitions.

The women’s squad put together some excellent flowing rugby going undefeated throughout the day winning the final against Stirling (47-7). What was particularly impressive was the work rate and resolve of the squad to defend their line. They did not concede a point until a try in the last play of the final. Captain Hope Simpson received the player of the tournament award.

Women’s Captain Hope Simpson commented, “Sauventus 7s was a great opportunity for our women’s squad to gain some valuable game time after the end of our 15s season. We were able to apply our learning from training, challenging our skillset under pressure. Our physicality, developed through our strength and speed sessions, proved difficult for our opposition to compete with. I was particularly proud of our younger and less experienced players (some having just picked up a rugby ball this year) who had been selected after some impressive performances at training. They stepped up exceptionally well and we saw a few first tries for Saints scored too! We are now looking ahead to BUCS National Trophy 7s in Bournemouth at the start of May, where we hope to test ourselves against some of the best teams in Britain.”

The men’s squad finished in 2nd place after the group stages having lost to the University of Edinburgh in a tight game but winning all their other matches. Saints were to meet their old foe the University of Edinburgh again in the final. This time Saints dominated stretching out a 33-5 lead before Edinburgh scored two late tries for the game to finish 33-17. Dan Brown received the player of the tournament award.

Men’s co-captain David Macrae commented, “The win on Wednesday was an unbelievable way for us to end our season. Playing 7s in Scotland doesn’t always guarantee “7s weather”, but fortunately the sun shone all day and we were able to play some expansive running rugby. The day started smoothly, with 2 strong performances against GCU and Stirling, this all but guaranteed our progression from the group before we faced Edinburgh for the first time. In this game the Saints were edged out 12-7 in a somewhat lacklustre performance, but we knew we had more to give should we face our varsity rivals again later in the tournament. With long breaks between games, the boys got a chance to watch the other teams battle it out, and in particular, watch our women’s team win their tournament in dominant fashion. This gave us sufficient inspiration to then defeat a strong Aberdeen side and book a place in the final.

The final saw a rematch against Edinburgh, and a chance to avenge last year’s final defeat. Whether it was the team’s fitness or just pure desperation, we were able to produce by far our best performance of the day, and finally saw all aspects of our game click. By half-time, the job was all but done, and we could hardly believe it. Lifting the trophy was the perfect send off for the leavers in the squad, who got one last winning memory in a Saints jersey.”

Director of Rugby Dave Morris added, “I am incredibly proud of everyone involved, not just the players selected for the tournament but also those who missed out on selection who have helped drive standards, competed hard and ultimately supported their team-mates preparation. Saints Rugby is a ‘One Club’ philosophy and the togetherness and support for each other throughout the day was fantastic. I was particularly impressed with how both teams reviewed performances as the competition went on, found solutions and ultimately delivered in emphatic style in the pressure of a final.”

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