LAST weekend the Jindabyne Bushpigs travelled to Kiama for the Kiama Sevens Rugby Tournament - and came back triumphant holders of the Country Cup and $1,000 in prize money.
The tournament is the world's largest one day sevens tournament, comprising 48 teams ranging from country sides such as the Pigs right through to Sydney club rugby sides and International sides such as Fijia, Tonga and Samoa.
The day was the wettest in Kiama's history with a small tornado hitting later that night.
Game one saw the Bushpigs take on Scone in a hard fought game , John Field and Steve Romppanen both played out of their skin making several barnstorming runs and big tackles, with the Pigs coming out victorious 19-12. The second game against Grenfell saw the rain come in the heaviest it had all day but the Bushpigs stuck to their guns and played terrific considering the circumstances, Matt Caldwell showed his pace down the blind side combining with Liam pepper and Taku Tairoa for a few tries while Jake Roarty showed us some of his old speed by making a great solo 80m effort down field for a try, Bushpigs came out the winners 33-0.
Winning both these games meant the Bushpigs were into the finals and coming up against Shoalhaven, the Bushpigs got off to a good start with Dave Akkersdyk combining with Craig Dixon to score out wide though a good slide of hands started by new recruit Rob Morris. However the boys got caught napping on several occasions and ended up going down 17-7. Not all was lost for the Bushpig boys with the side finishing up the top ranked country team of the tournament and after their dream run in the plate finals would fight it out with Scone in the final of the country cup.
The Pigs got off to a great start with Matt Caldwell making a break down the field taking in two defenders to offload the ball to James Field to score within a couple of minutes of play.
Scone came back with some big barnstorming runs which saw Steve Romppanen placing his head in the wrong position which resulted in being knocked out but shook off the stars to return to the field of play.
Great steals from both Roarty and Tairoa combined with big runs from Jared Gilkison led to the Bushpigs second try through a good slide of hands to Andrew McDonald who showed a little class throwing a dummy and going in out wide. The Bushpigs came out winners and Country Cup champions defeating Scone 12-10.
Captain-coach Matt Caldwell was proud of the commitment the guys showed in the lead up to the tournament and playing to their full potential under such harsh conditions.
A special thank you to Erin Caldwell (trainer), Mick Swinney (coach) and Jeremy Witherdin (manager) for their help throughout the tournament, And huge thank you to Alpine Glass & Screens, Coops Painting Services and Lake Crackenback Resort And Spa for all their help through sponsorship.