SEVENTH HEAVEN: The Ex-Rats of Southern Cross University, after winning the D Grade final at Byron Bay yesterday.
SEVENTH HEAVEN: The Ex-Rats of Southern Cross University, after winning the D Grade final at Byron Bay yesterday.

Thriller Sevens finals at Bay

By Sports Editor IAN MONAGHAN sport@northernstar.com.au

ANY thoughts that all of the teams contesting the Byron Bay Rugby Sevens at the weekend journeyed to the nation's most easterly point simply for the social events were dashed during some thriller finals yesterday.

It was finals football of the best order to decide the premier grades of men's and women's divisions.

Byron Bay Rugby Club officials described the women's final, between Warringah Virgins and visiting Kiwis, West Harbour, as 'the best match of the day in any grade'.

The Virgins proved they were anything but newcomers, defeating the New Zealand red-hot favourites 24-20 in a cliffhanger.

Tries at the death

Men's A Grade wasn't far behind it for thrills. The Brisbane-based Fijians of Ambrose Morgan scored two tries in the dying stages to wrest the title from the Grey Ghosts, one of two Australian Rugby Union Development Squads contesting the Sevens, 28-22.

The expansive attack of the Fijians saw them shoot away to a 14-0 lead, before the Grey Ghosts hit back to take the lead 22-14. But they couldn't hold out the fast finishing Ambrose Morgan.

Brisbane Wests defeated Rum Pigs 38-7 in the men's B Grade final, while Beat Pirates (Blue Mountains) proved too strong for Coffs Harbour (Macarthur Old Boys) 36-10 in C Grade.

The local flag was kept flying by the Ex-Rats from Southern Cross University, Lismore, who beat Celtics 33-0 in the D Grade final.

One thing about the Byron Bay Sevens is always guaranteed ... streakers.

There are usually a number of them during the Sunday afternoon finals.

Yesterday there was just the one, officials pointing to the stiff southerly breeze as perhaps the dissuading factor.



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