Samurai Success on the Hallowed Turf once again

Another year on the 7s circuit for England has come and gone ending with the Middlesex tournament hosted by the home of rugby, Twickenham. The competition places on show an array of talents from all over England and whilst in the past it has mainly been premiership sides such as London Irish gracing the green of Twickenham, this year saw growing unseen talent from strong local clubs across the nation. There still was no loss of entertainment however leaving spectator England 7s coach Mike Friday, licking his lips at the prospects of new additions to the national side.

Yet even with the addition of these new and exciting English teams, the day was stolen by fiery flare of both Brazil and Samurai. Upon coming to Twickenham the many English teams such as Esher and London Welsh would have perhaps felt as though they were at home, however the near 30,000 crowd warmed quickly to the Brazilians in the sunshine of southwest London.

First of all Brazil faced a confident Durham university having been invited to the competition after winning the BUCS university 7s national cup. It was immediately clear that the crowd were behind the men in yellow and green and whilst Durham put up a courageous fight scoring a brilliant try through Pattinson set up by Holmes; it was not to be so with Pinto causing heartbreak for the men form the north east.

Invitational side Social Vibe Pups, and Esher showed strong promise along with the Brazilians with extreme pace and agility, using ever inch of Twickenham’s lush green grass. However the biggest spectacle of the day was in the form of Samurai another invitational team. With a coaching staff of Mike Friday and Will Greening (ex-London Wasps professional and 7s English international) and the experience of Raikabula of New Zealand, Samurai certainly were set up to be formidable opponents. This showed immediately against the Oloran Sharks as the class of the southern hemisphere players dominated through trick off loads and brilliant running lines.

Samurai have won the Middlesex 7s over the last few years due to the class of their invitational players. This proved to be a common theme throughout the tournament as they beat the ever popular Brazil in the semi final which surprisingly was a close game, yet waltzed through Esher in the final to have yet another 7s title.

But it was still a brilliant learning curve for all of the young English 7s players and even though they were second best to the dominance of the pacific islanders in Samurai, Mike Friday and his team of selectors would have had a keen eye on the talent available. Clearly over the last few years teams like New Zealand, Samoa and Fiji have taken the international 7s by storm, yet there were some on Saturday on the hallowed turf of Twickenham from Esher, Durham, London Scottish etc, that we may see in the near future in a white shirt that can compete well for England.

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