Before Wasps' fantastic result against Gloucester Rugby in The Stinger on 19th April, 41 Tag Rugby teams showcased their skills in the Stinger Tag Rugby Cup.
An Eastleigh Pirate tagging a Windsor Titan
Organised by the Wasps Community Team, and hosted at Richmond upon Thames College, over 300 Tag Rugby players formed 17 Under 7 and 23 Under 8 teams that played in the festival stages of the Stinger Tag Rugby Cup.
The Under 7s festival saw the teams divided into four pools (three with 4 teams and one with 5), with each team in a pool playing each other. Following the pool stages, the four 1st placed teams entered the Cup semi-finals, the 2nd placed teams the Plate semi's, 3rd placed teams the Bowl and 4th placed teams the Shield.
The winners of each semi-final would progress into the exhibition finals, which would be played at Half Time of the Wasps vs. Gloucester match at Twickenham Stadium. The two losing Shield semi-finalists would be compared, with the better of the two qualifying for the Vase final, and the other team playing the 5th placed team, to determine who would fill the other Vase final slot.
In total, the following 10 teams played in the Stinger Tag Rugby Cup Under 7s finals;
During the Under 8s festival, the 23 teams were separated into six pools (five with 4 teams and one with 3). After the six pool games in each pool, the 1st placed teams were entered into two Cup pools, 2nd placed teams into two Plate pools, 3rd placed teams into the Bowl and 4th placed teams into the Shield. The teams were divided into the two pools based on their performances during the initial pool games.
When all of the respective Cup/Plate/Bowl/Shield games were completed, the top teams from each pool would then play in the finals at Twickenham Stadium. The Under 8 teams that played during half time of The Stinger were;
Action between Abbey RFC Red and Phoenix Fire
All of the players who participated in the Stinger Tag Rugby received a medal, and all of those who played at Half Time received a certificate that commemorated their playing on the Twickenham pitch. Each team who played in a Stinger Tag Rugby Cup final also received a trophy.
Each team also received some packs of Raspberry Fruit Flakes and Yoghurt covered Strawberry Fruit Flakes, kindly provided by Fruit Bowl Ltd. (www.fruit-bowl.com).
After the Stinger Tag Rugby Cup, festival organiser Ben Smiley told wasps.co.uk: "There was an excellent turn out of players, supporters and teams from around the South East of England. As a result, there was a fabulous atmosphere at the Stinger Tag Rugby Cup, and all of the players appeared to be enjoying their time. For those players who did manage to qualify to play on the pitch at half time of The Stinger, I hope that they treasure their memories and come to recognise that they have achieved something that very few people ever will in their rugby playing careers."
Following their participation in two of the Under 7s Finals, Wendens Ambo Mini Rugby Under 7s organiser Dom Crabb emailed to say: "Many thanks for the excellent event, it was an excellent day topped off by a visit to Twickenham. All the boys had a wonderful time and will cherish the memories they all have after being lucky enough to make it onto the pitch at half time. Please pass on our sincere thanks to all your team for the great job they did at the weekend. It was great for us to play some new teams and we hope to build on some of those new relationships by playing some new clubs outside our usual area next season."
The Wasps Community Team would like to thank Richmond upon Thames College for hosting the Stinger Tag Rugby Cup, Fruit Bowl for providing snacks for the players, First for Trophies for providing the player medals and team trophies and to our headline sponsors BRITA for their ongoing support of our Community Programme.