The Esher Lions meet the Premiership Elite! Author Mike Gadbury
The Esher Lions Sevens Team have had a tough start to their 2018 campaign. Last Sunday saw the first round of the Super Sevens Series at Bury St Edmunds. Our first game was against the Irish Exiles who are the development side for the Ireland Sevens squad. Although the Lions competed well the Irish lads ran out 31-7 winners with Alex Davolls scoring the Lions try. Next up were Apache, traditionally a top invitation side, and so it proved again this year, with them running out 45-10 winners. George Bvuma scoring our two unconverted tries.
To top off an extremely tough group our final Pool game saw the Lions come up against Saracens!! Again the Lions competed well but finally couldn't hold the Sarries and went down 49-5 with Alex Davolls getting the try. Saracens went on to win the final beating Samurai 39-0, showing just how strong the Saracens side was!
The Esher Lions started their 2018 Sevens campaign at the London Floodlit Sevens the previous Thursday at Rosslyn Park. On a balmy evening the first game was against a very strong Worcester Warriors team, which contained a number of their First XV squad. In contrast the Lions, had a very young squad, which performed exceptionally. The Lions took the game to the Warriors and spent the early stages camped around the Warriors 22, but failed to get over the line. As often happens, the Warriors, picked up a loose ball and went the length of the pitch to score. Worcester raced into a 19-0 lead before Sam Bullock scored, for the Lions ,and then converted,, to reduce the score to 7-19. However, the Warriors scored 3 more tries and ran out 36-7 winners, a score that flattered them.
The format of the competition meant that we went straight from the Qualifying Round to the Bowl Competition where we came up against Bath Uni. Despite falling behind early the Lions played some great Sevens rugby and scored 5 tries from Van der Ploeg (2), Bullock, Toomer and Robertson, three of which were converted, and ran out 31-14 winners to progress to the Bowl Final against Loughborough Students.
The Final turned out to be a tremendous game with Loughborough racing into a 17-0 lead. However the Lions showed great spirit and Alex Davolls scored on the stroke of half time to make it 17-7. The Lions continued to fight, and despite another Loughborough score, Freddie Strange and George Bvuma scored converted tries to make it 21-22 with a minute to go. At that point it looked as though the Lions would make a great comeback to win but with the Lions pushing hard Loughborough secured the ball and scored to make the final score 29-21 to Loughborough. A great effort from the Lions! Gloucester Rugby won the Overall Final.
The next Tournament is on Saturday May 19th at Basingstoke