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02 September 2015

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Hurricanes fly solo at Pan-London 7s


The RAF 7s received a late invitation to the RFU's Pan-London 7s, returning to Saracens' home ground Allianz Park. The tournament provided a great opportunity to bring on some of the extended squad's new players, representing the RAF as the Hurricanes developmental side.

20150902-body HurricanesThe Hurricanes first faced Ruislip RFC, who dominated first half possession. SAC Calum Davies thwarted several attacks with strong tackles and turnovers. When the Hurricanes did have the ball they immediately threatened, with SAC Juite Tupua dancing his way through the defence for the opening score. Another followed shortly after from Spitfires star Flt Lt Lloyd Owen before half time. More of the same followed after the break with Tupua scoring again and setting up a fourth score with a neat inside pass to SAC Lloyd Taylor who ran it in under the posts, closing out a convincing 28-12 win.

In the second encounter Championship side Esher showed their 7s pedigree against the Hurricanes. Despite succumbing 7-22, the Hurricanes fought hard throughout and only minor errors cost two more scores of their own. It was Tupua again that did scorch through the opposition, though SAC Breeze and Owen also looked dangerous.

The last pool game vs Redingensians was full of twists and turns. Some early unforced errors by the Hurricanes handed possession to Redingensians who easily capitalised, building a 21-0 lead with only 5 mins to go. As was typical throughout the tournament, the Hurricanes bounced back with another brilliant solo try from Tupua. This lift inspired a blistering break from Owen, from inside his own half, only to be tackled 5 metres short of the line but SAC Cutler was on hand for the pop-up and dived over for a score. The comeback was cut-short by the final whistle, the game ending 12-21.

The pool results earned the Hurricanes a Plate semi-final against the London Exiles. Once again unforced errors were capitalised on and despite dominating possession for a significant period, the Hurricanes could not convert into points. Fatigue began to take its toll but Davies and SAC Harry Vaughan maintained their ferocious tackling to prevent the Exiles extending their lead. Reminiscent of the previous game, confidence was conjured late on but facing a 21-0 deficit. Two quick tries from Owen took the Hurricanes close but again time ran out on the RAF men and the Exiles took the place in the Final, 21-14.

Managing the Hurricanes' endeavours at Allianz Park, Spitfires captain Flt Lt Rory Wood said "There are many positives to take from today with some excellent rugby from a group of players virtually unknown to one another before today. We've come close to big wins all day, but been on the wrong side of referee decisions, bounces of the ball and our own silly errors. Fielding the Hurricanes side is great for player development and some of these players have very bright 7s futures."

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