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DHL Exiles Sevens Do Well At Amsterdam Sevens

DHL Exiles Sevens Do Well At Amsterdam Sevens

The DHL Exiles Sevens made their second visit to the premier sevens tournament in Europe. Amsterdam attracts teams from all over the world for two days of non-stop sevens. Starting at 9.30am on the Saturday, the tournament has a full day of games on both days and finishes with the finals on Sunday at 5.30 pm.

Over ninety teams started the competition on Saturday and by the end of play on Saturday, the teams had been seeded into three competitions depending on their success in the first day pools of five teams.

In their pool, the DHL Exiles Sevens faced ANC from Holland (eventual winners of the secondary plate competition), Roma, Moldova and the Dambuster Reds from England.

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The Exiles, after facing a well organised defence in their first game against ANC, got into their stride and played some very good Sevens. Captain Matt Williams (the former Ireland Under-21 international) was making things happen and new player Max McDonald started running in the tries.

At the end of play on the Saturday the DHL Exiles Sevens were seeded fifth out of the ninety teams.

Sunday started with the top seeds from Saturday playing in pools of three. Looking down Sunday’s list there was not a bad Sevens team, including Samurai International (South Africa), Rugby Ecosse (Scotland Development Squad), Georgian Knights (Georgia), etc.

The DHL Exiles Sevens’ first game on Sunday morning was against a very physical Milano side. Milano scored first and went into the lead 7-0.

This score reminded the Exiles they had to focus on the avoidance of too much contact and they began to run the game with Max McDonald running in five tries for the Exiles to win 42-12. 

Next up on the main pitch in the stadium were Mels Exiles, who fielded a South African Sevens international. This was a tightly-contested game both in attack and defence and went down to the wire, with the DHL Exiles Sevens running out winners by 34-21.

Such a hard fought game takes its toll on the players and the Exiles lost Brendan Burke, who was having a fine tournament.

Mark O'Regan

The DHL Exiles Sevens were back in the position they achieved last year, one of the top eight Sevens sides in Europe. 

With only 25 minutes to recover after a tough game, tiredness was catching up with the players.

In the quarter-final the Exiles met the Samurai Barracudas (all professional rugby players, including Rhodri McAteer, a Wales Sevens international). The Barracudas were worthy 35-7 winners and went on to contest, and narrowly lose, the final to Samurai International.

This was another good learning experience for the Exiles players, particularly the 19-year-olds like Mark O’Regan (the Ireland Under-19 international: pictured) and was made possible by our sponsors DHL Global Forwarding and kit sponsors OB Sport of Dublin.