RUNNING rugby rules and the Island Boys proved why at the Orange City Invitational 10s on Saturday.
Throwing caution to the wind, the Tatafu Na’aniumotu-led Island Boys took out this year’s 10s title with a 33-19 triumph over defending champions the YBM Chargers in the final at Pride Park.
Evenly poised deep into the second half of the decider, the eventual winners touched down for two late tries to clinch the title.
Competition organiser Paul Ryan said the final was a “tight struggle”.
“It really could have gone either way,” Ryan said.
“I watched the semi-final against the Rhinos and both were great games of rugby. The Rhinos had a really Fijian flavour to their side but the Island Boys played really well.”
The Island boys won 20-nil in their semi-final.
At the same time, the Chargers overcame a valiant Jack Blunt Legends 19-15 in their semi-final.
“That was another tight game,” Ryan said.
“I think having won that one, then taking on the Island Boys in the final, it might have taken a bit out of them by the end of the game.”
Ryan said he was thrilled with the way the tournament panned out.
He reserved special praise for the game’s officials, with former Super Rugby referee Nathan Pearce on hand to officiate the semi-final and final of the 2014 Orange City Invitational 10s.
“It would have been a real thrill for some of the players,” Ryan said.
“To have someone like that come back and referee is great. It was a great day of rugby. There was a little bit of rain, but I think the players enjoyed that more than the heat we had a couple of weeks ago.”