The Milan International Sevens tournament has grown to a legendary status, with teams, players and spectators literally from the four corners of the globe coming together for a festival of beer, beer, rugby and beer!
This years “theme” was the Circus and we duly embraced the idea with an amazing kit to referee in – complete with Top Hat! Our Ring Master kit was a significant success – and we became the first non-playing team to win the converted “best interpretation” trophy. What was amazing was that the Mayor presented us (and the other teams) with the prizes – and downed a pint with each one! I’d love to see Boris Johnson do that!
The highlight for myself was refereeing the final of the tournament between Clandestinos (from Argentina) and Clan of Heaven (Italy) in an absolute cracker of a match. Frustratingly the Argentinean side prevailed and took the Cup. I say frustratingly because, whilst they were a fantastic side, they were also downright niggly and dirty. Despite 5 match officials they remained contented to throw punches, make late tackles and trip their opposition. The thing is they were so good they didn’t need to do any of this – just play!
The other highlights include one of our refereeing team retaining the Milan Campari drinking “campione” title and adding the boat race title – much to everyone’s amusement and his personal demise relatively expediently!
The event also raises a significant amount of money for overseas charity and is the clubs only fundraising event of the year. The figures speak for themselves:
500 players and coaches
15,000 spectators over 4 days
20,000 pints of Heineken downed
7,000 20″ pizzas munched
2,500 burgers eaten
E20,000 raised for charity
I would like to add the Gwent Police team definitely were robbed of their rightful claim on the Cassie Pieenar Trophy, for the most beer drunk, by Ingolstaadt Baboons from Germany – but those German lads did know how to drink too…just not quite as much as the Welsh!
The event really is the jewel in our season refereeing as it gives us the opportunity to go on tour and cause our own brand of mayhem and havoc. Check out the pictures from the event yourself – Milan Rugby 7s.
Roll up, roll up to 2012!