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Byron Shire
September 20, 2021

Rugby 7s draws dazzling islanders to Byron Bay

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Gritty defence from the Melville 7s rugby side (red and white) helped them win the contest Photo Anthony Smith
Gritty defence from the Melville 7s rugby side (red and white) helped them win the contest Photo Anthony Smith

The New Zealand-based Melville Rugby Club were just one of the winners after an excitement-packed weekend of Rugby 7s hosted by the Byron Bay Rugby club last weekend.

More than 40 teams from Fiji, New Zealand and across Australia played in three divisions vying for $16,000 in total prize money.

The number of teams entering the event continues to grow each year, as does the standard of the players, including ex-internationals, organiser Matt Barlow said.

The Melville men from Hamilton beat Fijian outfit Nadra Navosa in a physically tough, but one-sided game, winning 33–0.

The running quality of the Fijian side was stifled by the swarming and gutsy defence of Melville.

Their attack was also clinical and created plenty of opportunities they could capitalise on. Their last two tries came from well-planned and placed kick-throughs, seized on by outside runners.

In the all-Queensland Women’s Final Sunnybank defeated University of Queensland 29–15.

In the Men’s play-off for third the Fijian Bula Quins beat the Red Heavies from UQ 17–14.

The Women’s B-Final saw the Sydney Uni team defeated by the Nations 7 side 31–0.

The Byron 7s have been running since 1990 and attracted a lot of teams purely focused on the social side of the game, organiser Matt Barlow said.

Byron Rugby introduced the social division so these teams didn’t have to play hard rugby against the more ­competitive teams.

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