Premiership Sevens title for Wasps

Date published: August 7 2016

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Wasps were crowned Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens Series champions in extraordinary circumstances on home soil, after an epic end-to-end final against Exeter Chiefs.

It was Tom Cruse’s score that ultimately got them over the line in the 31-28 victory at the Ricoh Arena, but the two teams traded tries throughout in a game where the lead changed hands an astonishing six times.

Guy Thompson and Frank Halai got Wasps off to a brilliant start, but Exeter came roaring back as Max Bodilly scored twice before the interval.

Tom Howe then beat Man of the Round Sam Simmonds in a footrace to score, but the Chiefs skipper hit back immediately before Christian Wade showcased his deadly pace to beat three players and dot down under the posts.

And after Bodilly had completed his grand-final hat-trick, it was Cruse who used all his power to grab the decisive try.

Cardiff Blues won the plate after defeating Harlequins in another thrilling final, with Aron Wyn Evans crossing at the death after Jonas Mikalcius’ second-half double looked to have won it for the Londoners.

Exeter had booked their place in the Singha 7s final with a comeback win against Sale Sharks. The Sharks had been 21-7 up but Harrison Cully’s try with 40 seconds to go gave them a 26-21 win.

And Wasps joined them after beating the Ospreys. All square at half-time, Howe’s try was the only score of the second half until the dying seconds where Christian Wade sealed a 24-14 victory.

The day kicked off with the quarter-finals, where four second-half tries saw Sale come from 10-0 down to book their place in the Cup semi-finals with a 25-17 victory over Cardiff Blues.

Winger Matt Jess had the first hat-trick of the afternoon as Exeter scored six tries to lay down an early marker in a 38-12 victory over Northampton Saints in the second quarter-final.

A last-gasp try in added time from Howe sent the Ricoh Arena crowd wild as Wasps snuck through with a thrilling 24-19 win in the third quarter-final against Harlequins.

Cam Cowell looked to have given Quins the win with his successful conversion with 20 seconds to go but Howe found time and space to force his way over for victory. And a try double from Morgan Williams set Ospreys on their way for the afternoon as they saw off a stubborn Newcastle outfit 28-17 in the last quarter-final.

Meanwhile, Saracens claimed the first silverware of the day at the Ricoh Arena after a 29-7 victory in the Women’s Premiership Rugby Sevens final over Bristol.

Having beaten the same opposition 28-26 in the pool stages, Saracens were favourites and tries from Garnet MacKinder, Seraphine Okemba and Nina Vistisen put them 17-0 up at half-time.

Tilly Vaughan-Fowler gave Bristol some hope, but further scores for MacKinder and Vistisen meant Saracens continued the men’s success from last year where they won the Premiership Rugby and European double.

Cup Final

Exeter Chiefs 28-31 Wasps

Plate Final

Cardiff Blues 28-22 Harlequins

Women’s Final

Saracens 29-7 Bristol Rugby

Cup Semi-Finals

Sale Sharks 21-26 Exeter Chiefs
Wasps 24-14 Ospreys

Plate Semi-Finals

Cardiff Blues 40-10 Northampton Saints
Harlequins 45-21 Newcastle Falcons

Quarter-Finals

Cardiff Blues 17-24 Sale Sharks
Exeter Chiefs 38-12 Northampton Saints
Wasps 24-19 Harlequins
Newcastle Falcons 17-28 Ospreys

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