Royals prevail in Gdynia's all-GB final

GB Royals claimed back to back titles in the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series after beating GB Lions 26-14 in the Gdynia Sevens Cup final. 

 

Scotland's Jamie Farndale, Scott Riddell and Joe Nayacavou all featured for the winning GB Royals side. 

Winners of last weekend’s Mitsubishi Motors Exeter Sevens, the GB Royals continued their unbeaten run by topping their pool before progressing past Italy and Spain in the quarter and semi-finals.

The Lions, who for the Poland tournament called up England Seven’s Cameron Cowell and Morgan Williams from Ospreys, held off Georgia before beating Russia in extra-time to reach the final. 

Team GB Head Coach Simon Amor will name his Olympic squad of 12 on Tuesday having seen the wider training squad compete in the Rugby Europe Series and Sevens and the City. 

A FINAL TO REMEMBER 

The GB Royals came out of the blocks firing and Tom Bowen went over for the first try of the final inside the first minute.

Luke Treharne added the extras and the one-way traffic continued for much of the first half, Bowen bagging a second shortly before the interval when a simple move from a scrum put him over in the left corner.

The GB Lions responded through Cowell who made a searing break from inside his own half to go over under the posts. 

His conversion meant the Lions went in at the break trailing only 12-7. 

Shortly after the restart, a Dan Norton stepped clear for the Lions’ second score which Cowell converted to put his side ahead 14-12 for the first time in the game. 

But the Royals soon re-established dominance and sealed victory with two late scores, the first a fine offloading team move that ended with Warwick Lahmert going over and the second a Treharne interception to make it 26-14. 

ROYAL ROUTE TO FINAL 

The Royals had cruised through the pool stages on Saturday and looked similarly composed in the knockout stages. 

In the quarter-finals they made light work of Italy, James Farndale, Lahmert, Treharne and Ollie Lindsay-Hague all crossing in a 26-0 victory. 

Then in the final four James Rodwell, Alex Davis, Scott Riddell and Farndale secured a 22-0 win over fellow Olympians Spain.

LIONS SHOW THEIR METTLE 

For the Lions it was less of a serene route to the final – in the last eight they were made to work very hard by Georgia before earning a 12-0 win with tries from Norton and Williams.

The semi-finals were an even tighter affair against Russia with Cowell’s extra-time penalty kick proving the difference between the two sides in a game that finished 17-14. 

Sam Cross’ early try put the Lions on the front foot but a Vladimir Ostroushko double allowed Russia to take the lead.

A late Norton try, converted by Cowell, levelled proceedings at 14-14 and took the game into extra time. 

Teams


GB Royals           
Tom Bowen
Alex Davis          
Jamie Farndale 
Alex Gray           
Charlie Hayter
Warwick Lahmert            
Ollie Lindsay-Hague       
Ruaridh McConnochie  
Joseva Nayacavou
Scott Riddell      
James Rodwell
Luke Treharne 

GB Lions  
Mark Bennett   
Phil Burgess       
Cameron Cowell 
Sam Cross          
James Davies    
Richard de Carpentier   
Lee Jones           
Gavin Lowe       
Tom Mitchell (c)              
Dan Norton       
Mark Robertson        
Morgan Williams