18th February 2018
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Rugby players gear up for annual sevens tournament at the weekend

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The BP Sullom Voe Shetland Rugby Midsummer Sevens tournament gets under way at 7pm on Friday with the traditional family touch rugby matches.

All senior, junior and female players, along with supporters, are welcome to come along for a run about, which is aimed to enable novices to have a try at the non-contact form of the game and for players to hone their skills before the tournament proper tomorrow. The barbecue will be fired up and the beer tent available for liquid refreshments.

On Saturday registration for the main sevens competition is at 11am sharp. Any players keen to play for a team are welcome to come along at this time to register and be slotted into a squad.

The tournament begins at noon with eight teams vying for the impressive BP Sullom Voe Cup, won last year by the Arbroath Smokies, from the Royal Marines. Arbroath are back this year to defend their title, with runners-up Shetland Select hoping to go one better this time.

Winners of the Murray Anderson Cup for best local team, the Shetland Barbarians, are also back, as are last year’s winners of the 125 Shield, Aberdeenshire.

Other teams are the ever-popular Shetland Recreational Trust, some of whom have just returned from an intensive training camp in Tenerife. The Shetland Colts includes many of the young members of the club who broke into the senior team last season, so could be a team to watch.

The Delting side have, apparently, been holding secret training sessions since March, so it will be interesting to see if that tactic pays off. The final team has been dubbed the “Misfits”, which could be construed to mean that sevens isn’t strictly their game. However, from previous tournaments, their style has had good results for them and could do some damage.

After the tournament there is a meal at the Clickimin Centre, followed by a tour of the local establishments, taking in the carnival atmosphere. As is the norm, players and supporters will adjourn to Posers for the traditional cheesy 70s, 80s and 90s disco, which is always exciting for those young enough to remember those days. As places are limited, all players are reminded to arrive well before midnight, or they may not be admitted.

Sunday is for the survivors and those who wish to get together and relive the heroics of the previous day on the field and in Posers afterwards. Bacon rolls will be on the go for brunch and the “court of session” will no doubt be called into action.

For further details visit the Shetland Rugby website at www.shetlandrugby.com where people can leave a message on the guestbook or visit the club group on Facebook. For more traditional methods of contact, training continues on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

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About Jim Tait

Jim Tait is news editor at The Shetland Times.

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