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With the draw of the super 7s series fixture in Worthing as well as the increasingly popular Church 7s being held on the same day, the sheer size of the tournament this year should act as a real testament to the clout Rugby Rocks has across the 7s circuit. Thousands of players and fans descended upon Old Deer Park for a weekend full of spectacular rugby, netball, music and of course the odd sherbet or two.
The men's team reached the quarter-finals of the competition last year and class of 2012 made a good start to the tournament dispatching the Clapham Falcons with relative ease despite having to travel all the way from Cardiff in the morning. However, the success was short lived as Spoon narrowly lost to the Pistol Shrimps to set up an important fixture with the hosts of the tournament, Prostate Cancer Charity.
The match was a scrappy affair, often broken up with the odd scuffle here and there, but the referee clearly put it down to mere 'aggressive networking'. In the end it was the Prostate boys who scraped the win, but thanks to Spoon's narrow losses and clinical finishing in the first match they went through to the quarter-finals on points difference.
Unfortunately, like last year, this is the hurdle at which the men tumbled. Losing to a Pirates side who themselves lost in the semis. Still, the result was by no means a bad reflection on the Spoon team, with the majority of the side possibly still reeling from having to negotiate their way along the M4 at a rather uncivilised hour.
The Womens team were put in an eye-wateringly tough group yet still managed to beat Wales and Austria before facing Ireland in the group decider. The Irish team were comprised of a few familiar faces with Spoon regular and Irish Writers Player of the year Lynne Cantwell playing in the Green of Ireland as opposed to the hoops of Spoon. The match was a tense affair with Ireland utilising their wealth of experience against a young Spoon team to win the match by two tries.
The defeat against Ireland put Spoon in a tricky semi-final draw against England in a replay of the 2011 Rugby Rocks Final. On that day Wooden Spoon beat the England side on two separate occasions, and a total of three times over the course of the season, and it would seem that the Spoon voodoo still holds strong with the Wooden Spoon ladies winning a close encounter by less than a converted score meaning they would face Ireland again in the final.
With the final on the main pitch the crowds swelled to watch Spoon try to defend their title, and they got off to a great start scoring the opening try before Ireland replied with two tries in quick succession. In the second half Wooden Spoon increased the pressure in their search for an equaliser but were put to the sword by an incisive Irish counter-attack. Spoon did manage to score a further consolation try moments before full time, but it we couldn't make it two back-to-back Rugby Rocks Championships in a row.
Next up for Spoon is the Bournemouth 7s on the 2nd and 3rd of June followed in quick succession by the West Country 7s on the 16th June, so make sure you come down to support Wooden Spoon.
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