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Wild Dogs Triumph at Gibraltar 7s

The Europa Sports Complex buzzed with excitement as the annual Gibraltar 7s rugby event unfolded over four thrilling days. With over 1,000 tickets sold and more than 500 players participating, the festival showcased the growing international recognition of Gibraltar’s rugby scene. This year, the Wild Dogs emerged as the stars, clinching the coveted title in a fiercely contested tournament.

Gibraltar’s own Buccaneers, known for their prowess in traditional 15s rugby, made a commendable transition to the sevens format. Their journey to the knockout stages was marked by a challenging match against one of the Wild Dogs teams. From the outset, the Buccaneers found themselves on the defensive as the Wild Dogs quickly scored a try and conversion. Despite a valiant comeback attempt, the Buccaneers were unable to overcome the relentless Wild Dogs, who extended their lead to 24-5 by halftime. The Buccaneers did manage a late try, but the Wild Dogs sealed their victory with a final score of 31-12.

The third day of the tournament saw former champions Viator demonstrating their class with a series of quick tries against Apache, finishing with a dominant 26-5 victory. The day also featured the Women’s Sevens, where contrasting fortunes were on display, including a 55-0 scoreline. Despite the overcast skies, the crowd remained lively, many donning Hawaiian shirts.

The final day brought back the sunshine, turning the event into a hot affair both on and off the field. Spectators soaked up the sun as they watched the games, with many opting to sunbathe between matches. The festival atmosphere was complemented by live streaming, commentary, and promotional clips highlighting Gibraltar’s vibrant entertainment scene.

The Wild Dogs and Mavericks were the standout teams, with the Wild Dogs causing a major upset by dethroning Viator. In the Elite division, the Assassins delivered a crushing 40-0 defeat to Roma, while the Savvy Panthers advanced to the women’s finals amid rising midday temperatures.

In the women’s final, the Savvy Panthers faced Costa Blanca in a nail-biting match. The Panthers took an early lead with a try under the posts, holding a 7-0 advantage at halftime. However, Costa Blanca rallied to level the score and eventually clinched the victory with a decisive 12-7 scoreline.

The Mavericks’ clash with Viator in the elite division was equally intense. Viator initially surged ahead with a 14-0 lead, but the Mavericks fought back, narrowing the gap to 14-21. Despite their efforts, Viator’s experience prevailed, and they secured the win.

The group stage concluded with the Assassins overpowering Apache 38-14. The Assassins then faced the Mavericks in the semifinals, where they fell 26-14, paving the way for a Mavericks-Wild Dogs final. In a stunning display, the Wild Dogs dominated from the start, with a series of quick tries leading to a 26-0 halftime lead. The exhausted Mavericks were unable to mount a comeback, and the Wild Dogs triumphed with a final score of 26-0, claiming their first Gibraltar 7s Elite title.

In the Plate final, the Assassins and Viator delivered a gripping match. With the score tied at 12-12 in the second half, a late try and conversion by Viator secured their 19-12 victory, highlighting the competitive spirit of the tournament.

The 2024 Gibraltar 7s was a resounding success, showcasing high-caliber rugby and providing an unforgettable experience for players and fans alike. The Wild Dogs’ victory marked a significant milestone in the event’s history, setting the stage for even greater achievements in the future.

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