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Bull Sharks men sharing sevens glory

Bull Shark  Tautalatasi Tasi was again a powerhouse performer for Bond, this time in Sevens. PICTURE: Stephen Tremain



By Pat McLeod

THE Bond brand is already being imprinted in the burgeoning world of Rugby Sevens.

On the back of an already extremely successful Bond Women’s Sevens program this year, the university’s rugby club’s men’s contingent is now sprinting to the sevens finish line in 2021.

The Bull Sharks men took out the recent Fiji Day Sevens in Brisbane and then won their home tournament, the inaugural ECP Gold Coast 7s Festival last weekend.

The ECP GC 7s, hosted by Bond, was an outstanding success, welcoming 31 teams in elite men’s and women’s and social men’s competitions.

“With the re-establishing of an elite sevens competition back on the Gold Coast, we again have a complete pathway for rugby sevens players,” said Bond University Director of Rugby Luca Liussi.

“While it was very pleasing to see Bond victorious in the men’s comp the biggest ‘win’ was that this piece of the rugby chain is back in place. We had local teams competing - Colleges, Bond Pirates and Eagles – as well as many of the Premier division clubs and sevens specialists squads.

“In fact the Bond Pirates won the Social Men’s division.

“The Bond rugby club and major sponsor ECP are determined for the Gold Coast 7s Festival to grow into something really special. The success of this festival means that any male or female sevens player on the Gold Coast now has a distinct pathway all the way from the grass roots to the international level.”

The Bond elite men’s squad were quickly into stride from the opening match, accounting for Brisbane Kadavu 31-5, before collecting wins over Wests (19-14), UQ (36-14), Easts Tigers (36-5) and Nadroga 24-10. In a thrilling Sunday afternoon final, they defeated Coastal Brothers 12-5.

“There were some truly outstanding performances from Bull Sharks men’s players across the two days,” said Liussi.

“Regular 15s Premier players Dan Boardman, Byron Hutchinson and Tautalatasi Tasi (playing at hooker) were very good and saw plenty of minutes. It was also great to see Jaline Graham and Joshua Walker back in Bond colours for sevens and they really showed their experience.

“And proving the pathway is real, Bond colts player Sam Dalton, stepped up to the open men’s realm and really proved his worth. Sam is a product of Bond rugby’s very successful Pathway to Premier program.”

Sevens rugby has returned to centre-stage since the completion of the 15-a-side season and culminates with the first ever Queensland State Sevens Tournament at Noosa on November 13-14.

Both Bond’s elite men and elite women will be competing in that competition.

The Bull Sharks women sevens squad won the prestigious Aon Women’s Uni 7s Series earlier this year, which was the launching pad for Bond’s Maddison Levi winning a position in the Australian Women’s Rugby 7s team for the Tokyo Olympics.

Liussi said at least five of Bond’s top sevens squad were missing through injury and unavailability last weekend.

“Those injuries, many which occurred while at their rep training, were a big blow,” he said. “The remainder of the squad were great at the weekend, but we certainly missed those representative players.”

Liussi said there had been a notable shift in emphasis towards men’s sevens at Bond Rugby HQ.

“In the past we have taken a social, but competitive, stance when it came to men’s sevens,” he said.

“Through a number of factors, such as the demise of the NRC competition, we have put more of a focus on men’s sevens and the results are already showing.

“Last weekend we had four men’s teams and a women’s team involved in the ECP GC 7s, including about 50 players from our men’s squads. Many of those were colts players who really stepped up across the weekend and received invaluable experience.

“The next tournament is the Brisvegas Rugby 7s, which will be staged by the Wests club on November 6-7. We will have both our elite men and women at that tournament.

“Then we move on to the State champs at Noosa and we are confident of doing well there.”

Finals results from the ECP Gold Coast 7s Festival last weekend:

Elite men: Bond 12 d Coastal Brothers 5;

Elite women: Sunnybank 19 d UQ 12;

Bond Pirates 15 d UQ 10.

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