It’s fair to say that the 30th anniversary of the Coopers Invitational Byron Bay 7s sure was celebrated in style.
30 years is a huge milestone and the weekend that unfolded was definitely worthy of the occasion. We enjoyed a heap of firsts, plenty of familiar faces and events, and the biggest lineup of teams and individuals the event has experienced in its 30 year history.
For the first time, the event actually ran over 4 days, when you consider we had 30+ primary and secondary school teams competing over the Thursday and Friday. Thanks to Tom Davidson from NSW Rugby for organising this.
All-up, this meant over 80 teams competed in the event.
It was the first time we staged a Friday long lunch to launch the event, but based on its success, it definitely won’t be the last.
We welcomed a number of teams for the first time in 2019, including the Singapore mens’ national team in the competitive mens competition and Australian Defence Force in the womens competition. In contrast we again welcomed the likes of The MOB who have been around the event for 20+ years, albeit in an increasingly social capacity.
Thanks to our new apparel partner Paladin Sports, we witnessed a heap of former Wallabies, Kangaroos and even an All-Black playing as the Byron Bay All-Stars. It was such a thrill to see the likes of George Smith, Rico Gear, Lote Tuqri, Lachie Turner, Mark Gerrard, Radike Samo, Mark Chisholm and Steve Kefu. Plus Todd Carney, Jamie Lyon and Chris Walker all making their rugby union debuts! They topped their pool on Saturday and whilst they didn’t go all the way, they provided the fans with plenty of entertainment.
Results-wise, there was an air of familiarity. Brisbane Fiji went back to back, defeating Iconz 7’s who went one better by making the Div 1 final after their Div 2 success in 2018.
In the Womens, the Div 1 final was a repeat of the 2018 decider, however Nations 7s turned the tables on their 2018 result to The Stingers.
A huge thank you to all the players, coaches, supporters, referees and volunteers who made this event truly memorable. We look forward to seeing you again in 2020!
Scroll down to see a gallery of some of the weekend’s action.
Men’s Division 1
Brisbane Fiji (31) defeated Iconz 7’s (7)
Women’s Division 1
Nations 7’s (22) defeated The Stingers (7)
Men’s Division 2
Gumatj Cavaliers (27) defeated Western Sydney Two Blues (7)
Women’s Division 2
Bond University (33) defeated Flamin Galahs (0)
Men’s Division 3
The Staggs (21) defeated Decepticons (10)
Men’s Division 4
Easts Tigers (22) defeated Gold Coast Eagles (12)