The Lapstone Grunts outplayed their more fancied Bathurst counterparts on December 9 to claim the championship in the Blue Mountains and Greater West Rugby Sevens Carnival.
The Grunts – a side of Blue Mountains Grammar and Blue Mountains Rugby old boys – defeated the Cornwallis Crusaders from the Hawkesbury 26-19 in the grand final held at Pitt Park, Wentworth Falls. The Crusaders had defeated the Bathurst Mudcrabs in the semi-final, tipped as the team to beat after they won the competition last year under the name Stannies Old Boys.
Grunts key forward Leigh Murphy was named player of the tournament for the open men. “He was solid the entire way through the tournament,” said tournament director Chris Nay.
In the open women’s competition, a new fixture this year, Seven10s triumphed in the grand final over Blue Mountains Rugby, 10-5. With limited rugby sevens experience, the Seven10s team consisting of a bunch of Charles Sturt University friends largely based in the Mountains, were undefeated the entire competition. Their captain Julia Epstein was named player of the tournament.
Penrith RSL beat Blue Mountains Grammar School in a closely fought schoolboys grand final. In the schoolgirls competition no winner was declared due to a fight during the grand final between McCarthy Catholic College and Central Coast.
Australian Men’s Sevens player Tom Connor and Women’s Sevens player Cassie Staples attended the tournament and presented awards, with NSW Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson in the commentary box. Waratahs player Jed Holloway was unable to make it due to injury.
Mr Nay said the crowd was up on last year’s tournament, with about 2500 people attending. He said they have plans to keep growing the competition.