On a pleasant Saturday afternoon, there were sidesteps and dummies galore at the Graeme College Fun Touch Rugby Tournament. Held at the Somerset Field, the turf was divided into four seperate fields which housed all 42 entrants.
It was a chance for hookers and props to show off their skills at half back positions as there is no cleaning out, no ruck, no lineouts. According to organiser Craig Holman, 16 late entries had to be turned down at the last minute, such was the interest in the tournament, which was the first of its kind in Grahamstown.
As with all tournaments with different age groups, the quality and the pace of the rugby was always going to be different. In the boys U13 groups, the only group which had knockout rounds, the games were well contested and bordered on intense at some stages.
The final was contested bt PJ Olivier U13 and Youngsters, a team from Graeme College. Both sides had been slick and dominant through the round robin and semi-finals, but Youngsters were the better side in the final and were the deserved winners.
There was also a girls group which was well contested and won by the VP Cougars. The older mens groups were more about finesse and the gap openings, as there were many who had bolted off only to be reeled in near the tryline.
Mary Royi, who played for the VP Cougars, found the tournament fantastic and enjoyable. "It was my first time playing touch rugby. I never knew I would get the chance to play touch rugby since I'm a girl," added Royi. Other parents also enjoyed the tournament, with Cheryl Fischer being especially proud of how the girls teams had fared. "For the last three weeks, two fathers have been coaching the girls on Fridays and Saturdays. They have loved it and have adjusted quickly," said Fischer.
After the tournament was concluded, there was a prizegiving ceremony for the winners, with the best dressed award going to the Legend 8s team. Organiser, Craig Holman was very happy with how the event turned out and thanked all the sponsors and parents that lended a hand in the tournament. "We could pay for the flights anytime now," he quipped. He also said that there are calls for the tournament to become an annual event.