Go Convicts! Winners of the 2008 Bingham Cup, the world's largest amateur rugby event.
From all accounts, it was a heck of a tournament. Sydney fielded two teams in this year's challenge. The Cup-division team were undefeated throughout the tournament. The Plate-division team lost the final to the World Barbarians.
These guys have a special place in my heart. I met many of the fellas when Mark began playing with the team in 2005. Huh, gay rugby? Heck, I didn't know a ruck from a duck then. I'm still learning, but I've had a blast as a "rugby wife". And, no, as tempting as it is, I don't think I'll ever play. I like to keep all my bones intact, thank you.
Mark traveled with the team to the 2006 Bingham Cup in New York, when both divisions captured the trophies. Although he didn't play with them this year, for health reasons, we've both stood by them all the way, supporting from the sidelines and through fundraisers.
A few of the teammates have become like family to us. They're some of the best people I've ever met, and life in Sydney wouldn't be the same without them. I'm very happy for all of them and can't wait to see them when we're all back in Sydney again.
Here's a press release, snatched from the Convicts website:
SYDNEY CONVICTS 1 – WORLD CHAMPIONS – BINGHAM CUP DUBLIN 2008
Sydney Convicts 1 defeated the Kings Cross Steelers 18 to 3 to claim victory in the final of the Bingham Cup Division of the Bingham Cup - Dublin 2008, the World Cup of Gay Rugby.
Captain of the Convicts 1, Charlie Winn said “I’m proud of the strength and determination shown by the boys today and in the lead up games to the final. The team’s thanks also goes to the Bingham Cup organisers for their amazing efforts and to entire Convicts community both in Dublin and back home for their loyal support. Special thanks to the Convicts Head Coach Bronnie Mackintosh and Head Physiotherapist, Simon Raftery, for their incredible contribution to the Convicts”.
Coach Bronnie Mackintosh said ‘the boys played quick running rugby all week, and went through to the final undefeated. They trained hard for this tournament and their camaraderie supported them through with a win today.
Angus Donald and Luke Carpenter each scored a try in the final and Dino Tapiki scored 2 penalty goals and converted a try.
The Sydney Convicts also fielded a second team at the Bingham Cup – Dublin 2008. The Sydney Convicts 2 were runners up in the Bingham Plate Division, finishing second to the World Barbarians. Captain Simon Thompson said he was proud of the team’s performance and the legacy that the Sydney Convicts are helping to create in the world of Gay Rugby.
The Sydney Convicts Club President, Andrew ‘Fuzz’ Purchas also expressed the teams combined gratitude to Her Excellency, Anne Plunkett, Australian Ambassador to Ireland and the Holy See for her support of the team and her attendance at the finals for both Convicts 1 and Convicts 2.
Jimbo was in Dublin too, playing with the Washington Renegades. I hope he's well. I'm sure he'll have some juicy tidbits for us at some point.
Here's the video they showed at the Closing Party in Dublin. Jeez, I wish I'd been there.