Surrey Seventh Heaven
By Graham Shaw
Wildcat Magnificent 7s deliver the performance of the year
One year ago, Warlingham managed to scrape together 1 team of U15s to play in the Surrey 7s tournament. For several players that was their first ever game of contact rugby. One year on and the Wildcats were able to enter 2 teams even with 8 players unavailable due to Duke of Edinburgh, St George’s day parades or other sporting events. This alone was a huge achievement and was recognised by the Surrey organising committee.
The Wildcat teams were put together based on schools and available numbers – every player brings a strength to the squad. This has been a huge focus for Warlingham this season to deliver squad development and growth rather than try to stream players in to As & Bs. We were so grateful to be joined again by Streatham & Croydon RFC – this partnership in 2019 has benefited all the players with valuable game time and friendships as a result so a massive thank you to the players and coach.
Over the day the 2 Wildcat teams played 11 games of full pitch 7s rugby - for anyone that thinks that's easy, I'd ask you to run over an hour alongside the physical challenges of rugby. For many girls this was the first time they’d experienced this format, and everyone showed outstanding fitness to survive the day. We lost various players to injury and we wish them all a speedy return – the squad concern for each other really showed the friendships that have been built this season. Losing players on such a long day with small squads is always tricky but the girls pulled together and put a shift in throughout.
The outcome of the day was both teams making the Plate semi-finals - a massive achievement and the only club to get 2 teams in to semi finals on the day. One team battled through to the final while the other team were unlucky to miss out – there may have been some scoring ‘challenges’ but the girls accepted the result, showing the RFU Core Values in trying circumstances. The Wildcats performed outstandingly in the final but the exertions of the day took their toll, missing out 21-15. The day concluded with the Wildcats collecting our trophy from the Waterfall cup and everyone deserving their medal.
There’s no need to call out any individuals in this report. Everyone demonstrated unbelievable attack and defence at some point today. Everyone showed every RFU Core Value and Principle of Play while representing their club with pride. I’ll share some individual feedback at our awards session which will be in the afternoon of 12th May after the X7s tournament in the morning – hope you can all make it.
We’ve made great friends this season, learned a hell of a lot, grown in confidence, exceeded every expectation, improved as rugby players/people/coaches/parents, but most of all just had some fun. Congrats everyone! Look forward to the future of Wildcat rugby.