Rugby gets a kick-start in Dundee with inaugural sevens tournament
“Rugby is back” were the words on everyone’s lips as Dundee Rugby hosted their inaugural sevens tournament last weekend (7 and 8 August).
The tournament, branded as ‘Dundee City Sevens’, saw over 300 players across mini, youth and senior rugby return to the field across the two days, surrounded by excited spectators and supporters.
To support event costs, the club received funding of £7,500 from Scottish Rugby via the Kick Start grant, a fund designed to provide financial support to host events and proactive plans to recruit and retain players, coaches, volunteers, match officials, and support staff.
Whilst the event was focused on delivering game time, it also enabled the club to showcase their newly established partnership, which sees Dundee High School FP and Morgan Rugby join forces with Dundee Rugby Juniors and Dundee Eagles to become a new entity operating under the name of Dundee Rugby.
Reflecting on the weekend, Director of Rugby at Dundee, Colin Sangster said: “The forecast wasn’t looking great, but we got lucky and the sun shone throughout! It has been the perfect weekend to welcome players, club members and the local community back to the club. We didn’t really know how it was going to go as it’s a first for the club, but it ran without a hitch."
“The contribution we received through Scottish Rugby’s Kick Start grant has helped us get rugby off to a start in a way which we have never seen before in the city, and it really helped us to put in place the extra infrastructure we needed in line with the government covid-19 guidance.” Colin Sangster, Dundee Rugby
Linking in with Royal Bank RugbyForce weekend, the event also enjoyed a special guest visit from Glasgow Warriors most-capped player Rob Harley, after Dundee were awarded ‘Star Club’ status in this year’s national programme.
Whilst players eagerly made their return to the pitch, so did match officials!
Finding his way back to the middle of the field, for the first time in 18 months, was Scott Cubitt, a Development Panel referee.
“I am so excited to have made my return to refereeing this weekend”, said Scott.
“My last official match was away in Orkney in the 2019/20 season, and as usual, we had a brilliant weekend. I want those experiences back, so I can’t wait for the new season.”
“Our referees have been really enthused by this tournament. We are a close-knit family, and it has been great to meet each other face to face again and get back to the middle of the pitch. It’s been smiles all around!”
Heralding the return of rugby to the city, Steve Turnbull, Scottish Rugby’s Director for Caledonia Midlands region said: “It was really exciting to see a Sevens event of this scale come to Dundee. It was great to see the club make use of the Kick Start grant to deliver an event which was enjoyed by players, referees and supporters alike.
“Whilst we still need to remain cautious because of the nature of coronavirus, watching the club welcome back their members, volunteers and local community with such enthusiasm is a positive step forward.”
Tournament Round Up
Topping their pools to reach the knockout phase of the Senior Men’s competition were; the hosts Dundee Rugby, Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, Madras, Aberdeen Grammar, Fylde Hawks, Howe of Fife and a social team named the Blazin’ Squad.
The final saw the Blazin’ Squad steal a narrow victory with a 5-0 win over Howe of Fife.
Dunfermline, Howe Harlequins, Strathmore and Dundee Valkyries 1 all made it through to the knockout stage in the Women’s competition. Howe Harlequins took home the trophy in a 34-7 win against the hosts.
Madras left as winners in the U18 Boys event, with Caithness emerging victorious in the equivalent Girls competition. The S1 and S2 Boys competitions were both won by Dundee.