By Jordan Hughes
The Bond University Men’s 7s squad has arrived home from Dubai after competing at an international invitational tournament played as part of the lead up to the Emirates Dubai 7s World series event.
The Bull Sharks did well to reach a Cup quarter final but were ultimately outclassed by a very impressive French Development side.
How it unfolded:
In piping hot conditions, the Bull Sharks learned quickly that the tournament was a significant step up in class when they were ambushed by a strong Samurai team. To their credit, Bond bounced back from the opening round loss to secure a good win over Japan before suffering a narrow loss to French Top 14 club ASM Clermont Auvergne in their final pool game.
A strong for and against record was enough to book a Cup quarter final berth against the French Development team. The Bull Sharks started strongly and were well in the game at half time when they trailed by just two points. But the French bared their teeth in the second half and pulled away to record a comprehensive 45-5 victory.
Bond ended their competition in a Plate semi-final against the Ireland Development team. Although falling short 14-21, the Bull Sharks’ performance showed its 7s program is not far off matching it with the world’s best.
What they said:
Dan Boardman, fresh from representing the Australia Development side in the Oceania 7s Challenge, said he didn’t want to miss the opportunity to represent his beloved Bull Sharks on the international stage.
“The overall the experience was amazing, being able to travel with some of your best mates who you’ve had such a long year with playing all different formats of rugby was really special,” he said.
“To be able to say an amateur rugby club from the Gold Coast would be travelling to Dubai to play in an international 7s tournament in 2022 is a really great statement to be able to make”.
Bond went into the tournament with high expectations but were shown just how competitive the international 7s world can be.
“We didn’t do as well as we hoped with very close loses to Clermont and Ireland Development and having the season we had in Australia, it is fair to say we should have beaten those teams,” he said.
It has been a long year for Boardman and the Bull Sharks. The club went straight from the 15s season into 7s with the Dubai trip capping off a year of non-stop rugby.
“The key learnings for us were that we are not that far off the best in the world in relation to our sevens program,” he said.
“The whole experience left valuable memories we will hold forever and shows just what a good rugby club we can be here in Australia and overseas regardless of our size.’’
The Bull Sharks will now enjoy a well-deserved break before pre-season begins in January ahead of a big 2023 which will see the club celebrate its 10th season in the Premier Rugby competition.
VS Samurai L 29-5
VS Japan W 27-19
VS ASM L 12-5
Cup Quarter Final V France Development L 45-5
Plate Semi Final V Ireland Development L 21-14