On Friday the 26th of May the Rah Rah Rooster Barbarians gathered together to head to Amsterdam to play in an international 7s tournament . The tournament, is an annual event, which this year played host to 140 teams. The competition is divided up into categories of men, women and veterans. The Irish Wolfhounds, the Irish 7s team, took part in preparation for the European Grand Prix in Russia that took place last weekend.
Some of the other nations that took part in Amsterdam 7s included: Italy, Wales, Holland, Sweden, and China. Additionally, some teams were amalgamations of players from different countries. For example, Susie’s Saloon team, who went on to win the cup competition, was made up of five New Zealand internationals, five Fijian internationals and two from Australia. The majority of the other teams were comprised of top level amateur players. The Rah Rah Rooster Barbarians were one such team, featuring Kerry’s own Fionn McGibney. The Tarbert native was one of twelve players playing on the Barbarian side, made up of players from all around the world. Fionn has represented Munster at all age grade levels and started his rugby with Listowel RFC, but currently plays club rugby with Shannon RFC.
The tournament sees all teams in each category pooled into groups of four, with each team playing each other once. The winner of each group progresses to the top tier cup competition. Second place goes onto tier two and third place onto tier three, and so on. A tough draw for the Roosters saw them finish joint second in their group, but placed third on a points difference, meaning that they would enter into tier three on finals day. The Roosters saw off an Italian 7s development side as well as a Swedish 7s development side to progress to the semi-finals to face the Dutch national team.
In front of a crowd of 5000 people, as well as being streamed live on YouTube, the Roosters recorded a 17-12 victory. A last minute try by McGibney, his second of the game, meant that the Roosters progressed to the final to face Poland. A well drilled Polish side proved too powerful for the Roosters in the final, and the game finished up 24-0 in favour of the Polish. Fionn finished the competition MVP for tier 3 as well as top try scorer. The Irish Wolfhounds went on to win Tier 2.
Fionn would like to thank his sponsor Clifford’s Cash and Carry of Tralee, who made his journey possible. It was an incredible experience, one he hopes to repeat in the future.