The Jordan Rugby Sevens Series got off to a steady start with a solid win for Nomads Rugby Club over Amman Citadel in the 6 team Tournament.
Petra University was the location with all 6 of Jordans teams making the journey, Nomads 1st and 2nd Team, Amman Saracens, Citadel Knights & Citadel Warriors (essentially a Citadel 1st and 2nd team) and Aqaba Sharks braving the 5 hour drive to be there for the 10:30 kick off.
The day got off to a start with Nomads 2 losing 33-12 to a strong looking Citadel Knights in Pool 1, the pace and defence of the Knights proving just too much for the brave Nomads and would be their signature for the tournament seeing them comfortably top the pool after dispatching the Amman Saracens 30-12 later in the pool to see the final standings:
1: Citadel Knights,
3: Nomads 2
Pool 2 was a similar story for the Nomads 1st team taking top spot beaten both Citadel Warriors (22-0) and Aqaba Sharks 32 – 0. The speed and width of the Nomads ball movement draining both teams defences in the blistering sun.
Final Standings for Pool 2:
1: Nomads 1
2: Citadel Warriors
3: Aqaba Sharks
The lineups for the Semi Finals as we headed into the rest period :
Semi-Final One: Citadel Knights vs Citadel Warriors
Semi-Final Two: Nomads 1 vs Amman Saracens
After the break the semis got off to a shock start as Citadel Warriors raced into a 7 – 0 lead against the more fancied Knights who were struggling to get the rhythm and consistency displayed earlier into their game. Their clubmates industrious defence frustrating them into errors they then exploited. Half time saw the Knights regroup and after the break it was back to business as they racked up 22 unanswered points before finally allowing the Warriors one final score as the subs rolled and the cohesion left the team.
Semi- Final Two may have a strangely lopsided score, but was probably the game of the day, with Amman Saracens finally clicking into gear, getting their shape and basics right they took the game to Nomads, sitting off the defensive line and sending nomads left and right looking for space, they eventually found it and ran in 5 tries, but every single one was tough work and the fear for the final was perhaps this had been too draining for the Nomads 1sts and confidence was high that Citadel Knights could take the 1st round.
As we headed into the finals, 5/6th playoff went to Nomads 2, with the 3rd/4th play off taken comfortably by Amman Saracens with a 27-12 win over the Citadel Warriors.
So to the final and two old foes take to the field. The game was fast, physical, emotional and high scoring – everything you want in a Sevens final. Nomads triumphed in the end, 22-10 to take the first round of the Sevens.
The series now takes a break weekend (which will be filled with the Amman Saracens touch rugby tournament), followed by the trip to Aqaba for round 2 on the 14th October, before heading back to Amman and Petra University for the final round on the 28th October.
It’s hard to see past the fitness and structures of Nomads who look the complete package but both Citadel and Amman Saracens will be looking for better performances in the next two rounds, there is certainly a desire from both clubs to take at least one of this years trophies and with two weeks to prepare you wouldn’t bet against either side notching a win, the real question is how much Nomads can improve over the next 3 weeks. A win is beyond Aqaba at this point, but they will certainly be expecting to improve on their 6th place this time out to get themselves off the bottom of the ladder.
Thanks to Graeme Forbes – reporting from Jordan