Mackie Bears travelled to Gorey in Wexford, Ireland at the weekend to compete in the South East Sevens rugby tournament. After entertaining and being entertained by the locals in Dublin on Thursday night and then in the small town of Ferns near Gorey on the Friday night, the 10 strong party arrived at Gorey RFC in high spirits, full of energy and enthusiasm.
In the blazing sunshine Mackie started their warm up and soon found out they were in the pool with last years winners and Nok Su Kow – a team of 7s specialists made up from teams around Ireland and last year included 2 New Zealanders who played for the Maouri 7’s team. Despite the pedigree of the competition, captain Simon Morgan was confident that the guys could raise their game to compete with them.
There were two other local teams in the mix and Mackie set about displaying their talent by disposing of both the teams with relative ease. The oppositions class was certainly higher than most teams in the North east of Scotland but after a full Seven’s season Mackie could cope with them and laid down a marker for the other teams to follow. Unfortunately, a few injuries and perhaps being victim of one too many hospitality drinks the previous night but tiredness took its toll in the next game against last years winners.
Taking on 3 players from the local team to plug the gaps, Mackie were unfortunately outclassed due to defensive and offensive frailties. The introduction of non Mackie players was perhaps most to blame. Making substitutions because they could rather than when absolutely necessary caused a serious loss of form. For their final match they played the sevens specialists Nok Su Kow. Already having made friend with the opposition last year, the game was played in fine spirits and despite their class, Mackie soon went ahead through Cameron Gray after some great work from Morgan, Reid and both Gray brothers. The game ended with Nok Su Kow winning 3 tries to 1 but they were suitably impressed and have invited Mackie to another 2 tournaments in Ireland next year as a result.
The final of the whole competition ended with a repeat of last years finalists and Nok Su Kow winning the trophy in a rather one sided affair. Analysis would say that had Mackie not been in the ‘group of death’ then would have got to the final.
Post tournament, the Bears and their travelling support enjoyed the hospitality of Gorey RFC and an impromptu game of volleyball broke out which threatened to overshadow the final as it was being played. Mackie will be back next year and hopefully will go that step further and get to the latter stages and then...who knows.
Men of the tournament were Michael Levack – sponsored by Kieron Dyer and Andrew Reid – sponsored by Andrew Lumsden