Cardiff Blues claimed top spot at the Premiership Sevens evening at the Arms Park on Friday, knocking out title-holders Newport Gwent Dragons in the process.
The Ospreys will also progress to next month’s final in Coventry as runners-up.
Blues left it late to beat their east-Wales rivals in the thrilling final game of the evening, with 18-year-old flyer Dane Blacker producing a scintillating match-winning performance.
The clock was already red when Blacker crossed for the decisive touchdown – his second of the game. He told the Blues website: “I can’t get over it. Just to represent Cardiff Blues at this level, so young is a massive honour for me and to go on to win the tournament is even better.”
Of next month’s final, he said: “It will be a massive challenge going up to Coventry, the English clubs are always good but I’m backing the boys and think we can do well.”
Some of the Blues’ stars from Friday’s victory will be missing for the Coventry trip, as they link up with Wales under-18s, but there is no doubting confidence is high at the region, with the signs looking good for the future.
Saturday’s Group B fixtures saw Exeter Chiefs and Wasps join Blues and Ospreys in the final, with the Group C and Group D fixtures taking place this weekend.
The Welsh regions have been a very successful addition to this great tournament, and I hope to see Wales’ Capital Region make it all the way!
Moving on to the Olympic Games, I’ve just been checking out the schedule information for the Team GB Rugby 7s matches which I am so excited about! Rugby’s return to the Olympics is long overdue in my opinion, and I think it will be a resounding success! Team GB Women’s team are drawn alongside Canada, Japan and hosts Brazil in their pool, with the action kicking off on Saturday 6th August. GB Men’s team then begin their campaign on Tuesday 9th August, in a pool that also features Kenya, Japan and New Zealand.
With such fond memories of the London Olympics in 2012 – where Emily and I were fortunate enough to get tickets for the basketball and the beach volleyball competitions – I am so excited for this fantastic world event to be held in the wonderful backdrop of Rio de Janeiro. If the atmosphere of London 2012 was anything to go by, the next month will play host to a wonderful carnival of sport, and a celebration of human triumph.
Good luck to Team GB