Teams from Volkswagen Tag venues in each of the four provinces contested each grade’s respective trophy on a day basking in sunshine, with tunes pumping and the BBQ sizzling for the biggest championships yet.
Keeping with Volkswagen Tag tradition, teams enjoyed the day in glorious sunshine. All grades began their group games during the morning. This year, following feedback from last year, games were lengthened to two ten-minute halves so the breaks in the sun were most welcome as the day progressed.
By three o’clock most of the groups’ final positions were decided ahead of the Cup, Plate and Bowl trophy semi-finals in each grade. Not before the Vets Men group finals were contested however. In the Vets Plate, FC Porco defeated Bective Sort Of 11-8 while in the Cup competition, Tag Stars captured the silverware defeating Tag Barbarians 11-3.
The Beginners Bowl Final saw DNT No Woman No Try overcame The Staffers thus winning the first mixed trophy of the day. Final score in that game was 18-11 to DNT. Onwards to the Beginners Plate Semi-Finals then where Regans Rams pipped Tagtonic Plates 12-11 to earn a place in the final versus Texthelp, who emerged as victors 8-7.
The Beginners Cup semi-finals also delivered one-point margin wins with No Woman No Try defeating Clare Wolves 10-9 and Citi Cobras beating Tag My Pitch Up 7-6.
Both finals again were close affairs. Texthelp won the Plate 13-11 and Citi Cobras won the Cup 19-12.
The Conference Division was another tightly contested group with twelve teams from all over Ireland up and at it for the Bowl, Plate and Cup. Bowl semi-finalists Waggy Races Rustlers, who beat Honeybadgers 13-5 went on to overcome Try Babies in the Final, 16-13, after Try Babies had emerged as victors, 20-13, over Shelbourne Supremacy in their own semi-final. The Plate Final was won by Carlingford Knights who had beaten Tagzilla, 6-0. Both teams had earned wins in their semis again BAMLicious Broncos and Beaumont Brawn respectively.
Tagzilla, who play at Galway Corinthians RFC, were the team drawn for this year’s Volkswagen Tiguan For A Year competition. The lucky winner drawn by Philip Orr, IRFU Senior Vice-President, at the trophy awards was Marcus McHale. He collects his fantastic prize later this week during the course of Corinthians’ Finals Night.
Galway Corinthians RFC is the largest tag rugby venue anywhere. Each week, eighty teams play Volkswagen Tag at this club. That is a staggering 1200 players on average for ten weeks during the Summer.
Meanwhile, Spuds Army from Tullamore decisively won their semi-final against Bee Taggers 13-3. They then faced Mexicans who had earlier defeated SPACE Cadets 8-7. The results in that final was never in doubt as Spuds came through 25-7.
The battle for the Paul Flood Memorial Trophy and IRFU Volkswagen Tag All-Ireland title saw the Championships Division title keenly fought (in a nice way). In that division’s Bowl competition, ‘home’ side Belvo Allstars won yet another tight contest, 12-11, this time against Swords Ruggers, on their way to the final. Their opposition would be Hashtags who also had a tight game, beating Absolutely Friesian, 13-10. The Bowl went to Hashtags after they crossed the finish line 13-11. As you can see, not much between the teams today. For the Plate, Douchetags lost 5-19 to a resurgent Panthers. The semi-finals these teams played were a joy to watch. Douchetags defeated Totes Tag 12-8 while Panthers won 13-10 versus Castrated Olympique in a to-and-fro game. The semi-finals for the national title were no less tightly played. This is SPARTAG defeated Corinthians in a Munster v Ulster while a Connacht derby in the other semi-final saw Sligo’s Thunderstruckers narrowly lose out to Cunny Funts from Galway Corinthians RFC. The final and All-Ireland spoils were won by This is SPARTAG who won by 13-8 in yet another great game to watch.
On sitein the Volkswagen zone was VW Priority Parking, food by Eddie Rockets, Crepes and Coffee by Classic Crepes, Glenisk and of course, the unmissable FM104 Roadhog. Throughout the day, video footage and galleries of games as well as the latest tables and fixtures were there for all to see on the giant screen provided by Shane Scally Communications.
We would like to thank Volkswagen Ireland, Old Belvedere RFC, all the volunteers, players, and their supporters for everything that has made this tag season grow even further. Next year’s season, and in particular, the All-Irelands, will be even bigger and better. Not to be missed.
There are still places left for Late Summer leagues at Railway Union RFC, Autumn leagues at Swords RFC, Beach Tag at Strandhill, Sligo as well as Bull and Booze Tag Festival in Bruff RFC. For more information or to sign up, visit www.irfutag.ie.
Special gratitude from all goes to each and every one of our fantastic referees who were specially selected from around Ireland to run games for these tournaments. Images and Video will be released on the IRFU and IRFU Tag Facebook pages as well as on Twitter (@IrishRugby)