Sidmouth Under-7s enjoy champagne rugby to lift Pullin Cup.

Sidmouth Under-7s in the Pullin Cup

Sidmouth Under-7s in the Pullin Cup - Credit: Archant

This year, as part of Sidmouth Rugby’s support for the Rugby World Cup, the Pullin Cup has been resurrected.

The Pullin Cup was presented by, and is named after, the founder of the club.

It was initially put forward for an annual junior competition to promote the game for the youth of the town of Sidmouth.

It was first played for at Christmas 1904. Competition continued until the World War II and it was then re-introduced in 1972 on the founding of the junior section.

It has been played intermittently ever since and so makes a welcome return this year.

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The laws of the game are that each junior age group is divided into two teams of those in the EX10 postcodes as the ‘Chiefs’ and then the players left assemble to play as the ‘Vikings’.

This is played across all of the junior age groups from Under-7s through to the Under-16s.

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Whilst the older age groups play a very competitive suite of matches, this weekend was the turn of the Under-7s who chose to play their game after their regular fixture that day against Exmouth.

Teams were selected as per the rules, but due to over 30 players wanting to take part, the teams were split to provide 15 players each and champagne rugby was the order of the day!

For those not educated in rugby jargon, champagne ‘tag’ rugby is the reverse of every rule of the game, you can pass forwards, the children were allowed the kick the ball and basically throw it around as they wanted.

The teams decided the best way to start the match was with an intimidating Under-7s Sidmouth Haka that was performed with most of the children just jumping about in a chaotic manner with lots of shouting and various arm gestures trying to recreate a version of New Zealand’s traditional ancestral war cry .

With the enthusiastic chaos that followed, the game was brief, but highly entertaining with two referees on the pitch at the same time much to the delight of the watching crowd of parents with the ball spending most of the time on the ground with the kids all piled on top of it!

The result of the day was a win for the Chiefs with the only try of the match being scored by Jonno Fletcher. It all proved to be great fun and the Pullin Cup now gets moved on to the Under-11s for them to contest for the honour of being Pullin Cup winners.

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