Rugby tournament shows why sevens is heaven for fans
IT'S 14 minutes of lightning quick, hard-hitting, end-to-end rugby - does it get any better than that?
The Fraser Coast Invitational Rugby Sevens Tournament celebrated its 10th year in style on Saturday as 22 teams from 10 Wide Bay schools took part in this year's event at Fraser Coast Anglican College.
After seeing some of the region's finest rugby schoolboys and schoolgirls perform in the fast, frenetic and highly-skilled arena, carnival convenor Tony Tregaskis said it's no surprise why the tournament continues to grow in popularity.
"Across the board, the quality is getting better," he said.
"Those teams at the top have to work harder and play even better to win in a final or at least win the semi-final to get in the final.
"I think the main thing, the skill set of the players is far better.
"Their all-round skill and their defence, good strong one-on-one defence, have improved a lot.
"Their ball skills, both in that structure of play in the ruck and maul is a lot stronger, but then the ball skills while running the ball and getting into space was far better than ever before."
Xavier Catholic College dominated the tournament, taking out the under-13 boys, under-15 boys and open girls' titles.
Xavier couldn't make it a clean sweep, however, with Hervey Bay State High School pulling off a stunning 17-7 victory in the open boys' trophy final.
Led by Liam Chapman and Harley Brown, Hervey Bay ran the ball at every opportunity as well as displaying some superb defence.
The match hung in the balance until Sam Dyson stripped the ball out of Jarrod Payne's hands and dived over to score in the final minutes.
Host school, Fraser Coast Anglican College, didn't leave empty-handed, beating St Luke's Anglican School 33-14 in the open boys' plate final, which was contested by the third and fourth place finishers.
FRASER COAST INVITATIONAL RUGBY SEVENS TOURNAMENT
Trophy final (1st v 2nd): Hervey Bay SHS 17 def Xavier Catholic College 7
Plate final (3rd v 4th): Fraser Coast Anglican College 33 def St Luke's Anglican School 14
Open Girls (round robin)
Trophy final: Xavier 14 def FCAC 5
Plate final: James Nash SHS 12 def Shalom College 10
Trophy final: Xavier 39 def St Luke's 7
Plate final: Victory College 20 def FCAC 10
Player of the open boys final
Liam Chapman (HBSHS)
Best forward of the open boys final
Matthew Higginson (Xavier)
Best back of the open boys final
Harley Brown (HBSHS)
Spirit of Rugby awards
Tyrell Denduck (Xavier)
Sahlie Diggins (Shalom)