Feature

Diary: Forget films, fucking and football; beer, brawls and balls is five's key to success

Fighting, drinking and the use of ringers seem to be the three main highlights of the 44th Nabs Rugby 7s tournament, that was held at Richmond Athletic Ground in West London last weekend.

When compared with the alcohol-fuelled carnage of the Big Bash, the rugby contest is generally seen as one of the more placid events in the Nabs calendar - not this year, though.

During a clash between Ortus and the rowdy lot at News International, the game began to turn a little ugly, as more than a few tempers began to fray.

And, before long, the game erupted into fisticuffs, with play having to be called to a halt to let a few hotheads calm down.

Yet, as soon as the fists stopped flying, the tongues began wagging, when a couple of competitors started to question exactly what job Will Greenwood, the former England rugby union international, had at Sky to give him the right to play on their team.

Not even rugby could quench the players' thirst for healthy competition as, following the on-field combat, all the teams were involved in "the boat race" - a drinking-based game where each squad has to drink ten pints of beer in the fastest time possible.

However, the slightly dubious moral fibre on display was not enough to put off the TV presenter Gabby Logan and her ex-rugby star husband Kenny from bringing their nippers along to enjoy the day's events.

Five TV eventually won the overall tournament - the second time in consecutive years they have run out as champions.

In the final for the Plate (the second-string competition), William Reed Publishing brushed aside Sky Media (and the mercurial Greenwood), while MindShare beat Cedar Communications in the first-ever staging of the Bowl competition.

An additional award went to Charles Lamb from the five team for the Referee's Choice of Player of the Tournament, while Nabs made a special presentation to Charles Kenny, the tournament director, who has been involved with the event for more than 22 years.

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