A fair number of us trooped down to the wilds of Reading Abbey RFC (which is categorically not in Reading) on the 21st of July for the mighty International Fat Blokes Sevens. Despite being dropped in the deep end of Pool A, just below the Elite boys, we managed to have a huge amount of fun and pick up our first two competitive wins into the bargain.
Arriving with a mix of high hopes and vicious hangovers, we ran out for the first game of the day on pitch 2 against Old Herpeans (who we are reliably informed were actually Beaconsfield RFC in a cunning disguise). Despite coming out hard, pinning the opposition back on their own try line and taking an early lead we fell away in the latter stages and ended up 0 from 1.
Second up were Readingensians, whose sneak shock tactic of showing us the world's smallest manhood shortly before kickoff failed spectacularly as we fought tooth and nail and stayed nicely in touch throughout the first half. Sadly as we jogged out for the second 7 intending to push hard for our first win they decided to remind us that they're a National 3 team by bringing on a selection of young, fast, fit people. 0-2.
The third game saw us up against Windsor, who had kept more in the spirit of the occasion by bringing along a few genuine fat blokes,which made some of the scrummaging interesting but gave us a little bit more parity in open play! After 14 minutes of exceptionally hard-fought end to end stuff with some brilliant open play and dogged defending the referee blew up to herald a narrow 2-point win for the mighty Whitton Lions, chalking up our first victory (and earning us an invite for a
friendly to boot). 1 win from 3.
The fourth game, with the wind in our sales and a few celebratory beers in our bellies, was somewhat less of a tight affair as we ran in four tries against Acton Nomads - who deserve an award for playing in the spirit of the day by letting their prop captain kick their conversions - and we headed off to the gazebo for an evening's drinking with 2 wins from our 4 games.
Thanks a lot to Stef and Barry for organising beers and the gazebo and to everyone who came down for the day. We'll be back bigger, drunker and hopefully in a lower league next year! p.s. congrats to Danny Rumble and the boys of Gloucester Orcs who ran out eventual winners of the Pool competition.
Whitton Lions Squad:
1.Sam Jacques, 4.Stef Rulewski, 6.Aidan Potts, 7.Mike Davies, 9.Gareth Elliott, 11.Magnus Kauders, 12.Mark Taylor, 13.Rich Lennon, 16.Rob Johnson, 19.Dan Saxby, 21.Paul Doherty, 22.Chris Byrne