Cretan Gunners finish 3rd in Kavala’ Rugby Tournament

Following the trip last year, the Gunners players decided to enter again this year to try to improve on their performance of the previous year. This year’s event was to be a trial event for the European Beach Rugby Organisation giving it a higher status and all matches five a side. After six weeks of Beach Rugby training this year’s tournament from 28th to 30th July would bring them into contact with seven other Greek teams, two from Romania and one from Bulgaria.

Friday saw the Gunners play their opening two matches against Galati from Romania where they lost 7-1 and Attica Springboks where they again lost 7-1. Whilst disappointed to lose both matches their overall performance was better than the previous year when they had lost 19-0 to Springboks.

Saturday with possibly only one game left after the withdrawal of the Misfits team Gunners played Nemesis a match won 8-1. This now led to a further game against Egaleo where they were playing for a place in the 4th v 5th playoff game. Hard tackling, improved ball handling and support play saw them runout the winners by 5 tries to 1. So, with a place for a mid-table position achieved Gunners were happy as they had far exceeded last year.

Sunday and the playoff match against Aeolas and despite some hard and committed tackling from the tired, battered and bruised Gunners side they could not manage to get over the Aeolas try line often enough to gain the win and eventually after a very hard fought ten minutes they lost 4-1 leaving them in 5th place overall.

A successful tournament that showed just how much progress this new team has made in twelve months something commented on by opposing teams and the organisers.

Coach Phil Elcock said ‘I am very proud and pleased with the overall team performance and how much everybody has contributed. To finish third of the eight Greek teams is no mean achievement for a group of players who had never played the game until eighteen months ago and some a lot less than that. Our first two matches were against the tournament winners Galati and second place Springboks so to lose to them is no disgrace. This whole performance is an indication of what this team is capable of as they gain more experience and playing time which we will hopefully start to get this next season’.

Training has now stopped for August but players will return to training at the National Stadium in Chania the first week of September as they prepare for the more usual fifteen a side version of the game.New players male and female are always welcome to come and have a go. Training takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays starting at 8.30.

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