London’s gay rugby club in world tournament final

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London’s only gay rugby club the Kings Cross Steelers, successfully made it to the final round of The Bingham Cup in Dublin, Ireland, last weekend.

The Steelers’ first and second teams reached the finals for the Bingham Cup and the Bingham Bowl respectively.

Both teams played against 30 other clubs from across the globe to get there, in the largest tournament of its kind in the world.

The opening pool stages of the tournament saw the Steelers 1st XV take first place in Pool D for the Cup competition, with the 2nd XV taking second place in Pool E for the Bowl competition.

In the knockout stages, The 1st XV remained unbeaten with an 18-0 win over Manchester Village Spartans before a grueling semi-final against San Francisco Fog which saw the game go into four periods of extra time, Kings Cross eventually going through to the final by the narrowest of points differences.

The marathon encounter left the players battling exhaustion for the final match against the Sydney Convicts. Both teams lined up for the official presentation to the Australian Ambassador, Anne Plunkett prior to the start of the final.

In a tense and gripping game, the Convicts were the victors by scoring 18 points to the three scored by the Steelers.

The Second XV fought through various injuries, and the sheer exhaustion of seven games over three days, to face the US team, the Atlanta Bucks.

This thrilling final resulted in the Americans winning 12 points over the Steelers 5.

Despite being runners-up, the Steelers showed true sportsmanship and partied with the winners and the other 800 competitors and supporters.

Richard Carswell, President of the Kings Cross Steelers, said:

“The results in the Bingham Cup, which are fabulous, show how far the club has progressed since the last tournament two years ago, in New York, where our first team came sixth.

“Our progress has been due to strong and clear leadership, total commitment from the players, and the regular discipline of the Essex league,

“It is a wonderful achievement. The club can be proud of itself.”

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