1921 Belfast ‘Warriors Day’ [30 April]
The list may be subject to change if more rugby union sevens tournaments are discovered.
Planned tournament not played
A Sevens tournament was planned by Douglas RFC, a Cork side, on 8 December 1900.
The club went so far as to have a meeting with the entrants. They were:- 2 Post Office teams, 2 Constitution teams, Douglas RFC, Cork RFC, Queens College RFC and Black Prince RFC.
However the tournament was postponed due to inclement weather and there is no record of the tournament subsequently being played.
Belfast Warriors Day
The first Sevens tournament in Ireland had to wait until 30 April 1921.
This was in Belfast at the Balmoral Showgrounds. This was a Charity event for the ‘Warriors Day fund’.
Details of the 1927 tournament, together with an assessment of the current international stand-off between Scotland and Ireland maintaining the rules of the IRB (now World Rugby); against England going their own way, assisted by the Welsh and the French.
The seven-a-side tournament at Lansdowne Rd. last Saturday provided the usual wind-up to the Rugby football season. Interest in this form of the sport showed no falling off. Dublin University, the fastest side in the city, won the competition, and the large attendance made certain that the intended charity will benefit in substantial manner. This has been a great year for Ireland. Our National team is generally admitted to be the best of the season, club play has shown an improvement in accord with the high fame of Irish football, and the game continues to spread throughout the country at an amazing rate. The Bateman Cup final attracted the largest attendance on record, and the match between two splendid teams was worthy of the greatest traditons of the game. Lansdowne must be written down as t h team of the year, it is true that they failed in the last big test against Instonians, but it was really their exertions against the Limerick team. Bohemians, on the previous day, that caused their failure. They have won the Leinster Senior Cup. They defeated during the season the pick of the Ulster clubs, including Instonians, and their second team never lost a match tlroughout the season.
The season that is past witnessed certain developments of universal interest. The Rugby Union, by which title the English Rugby Union still asserts its right to be known, had redrafted the laws of the game, and had done the job well, clearing up many doubtful points, and doing away with certain ambiguities. The other Unions, however, did – not adopt the redrafted rules, and as France and Wales each included in their laws certain variations of their own, for a portion of the season we were treated to the absurd spectacle of England, France, and Wales playing under their own rules, while Ireland and Scotland adhered to the laws of the International Board. In November, with a gesture of generosity, the English Union decided to shelve its own rules, and for the remainder of the season to adopt those of the International Board. As Before. AT the time Mr. Baxter, President of the English Union, indicated that it was hoped to get the redrafted rules accepted when it met in March. Wales and France, however, stood out, and stuck to their own rules. So far, the English attitude was eminently reasonable, and personally I am sorry that the International Board did hot adopt the redrafted rules at their meeting last month. taking out cords, and to bear that the membership Its. incicased this year. The new constitution of the Society admits to memlwrehip officers who have held commissions in the Army or Defence forces of the State and who are members of rem”- nits4l clubs. In that way lienerals O’Huffy and Murphy are members of the Society now, and also General Mulcahy end several members of the flovernment and Government dcpartments are also on the list. Thus the Society p assesses the nucleus of very powerful organisation which will likely play an important pert in inch golf in the future. One missed from the list of competitors the name of Dom. Carroll. who as Major Carroll was the winner of the first Army Championship. He has returned from the States, where he was qualifying for an important medical appointment here, and he is at present residing in Cork, to which county he was appointed. of course, is • member of the Society, but he was not at the Hermitage for the Collins Cup, which he will surely win one of these days, for the Army not likely to have as gond • golfer for • very long time. Taking the returns all round they showed th a t the game has been developing in the Army and that there are several promising players stationed in the country towns, But the medical. appear to have the better of it so far as playing strength concerned. It was • most enjoyable day for all them , who took part in the tournament,
What they did do was to pass a res i » lotion reco ending each country play no matches in future except under International Board rules. Such expressions of pious opinions cut little ice matter how august the source which they emanate, and this one a il probably be disregarded; in any it leaves us with the old chaotic set of rules. Revolt. THE rejection of the redrafted ruler , , coupled with the fact that the English Union’s suggestions in the matter of Dominion representation were not adopted, appears to have driven Dlr. Baxter to the point of revolt. Speaking at the dinner of the London Society of Rugby Union Referees held some time after the International Board meeting, he is reported to have said in reference, to Dominion representation. – “It (the formation of an Imperial Advisory Board) was bound to come, for the Rugby Union could nut, and would not, be tied down by other people. The time would come when, if they were convinced they had justice on their side, they could stand alone, and the Rugby Union, so far as the Dominions were concerned, were prepared to stand alone if it was necessary. As long as it retained the confidence of the Rugby world, it would not be dictated to by any other authority.
A Threat. This is a pretty fair example of twaddle even for the President of a Rugby Union. It can only mean that the English Union is prepared to go to extremes, and, if necessary, suspend international matches. This is an empty threat, the product of unreasonable irritation. The game has developed to such an extent that it is surd to expect all countries to submit to government by the Union of one. The game is a world one now, and fair representation should be given to all in the Commonwealth of Unions which is the International Board. The English claim to control is based on seniority alone. The honour due to age does not include a duty of blind obedience, The English Union on account of it; antiquity has always been called the Rugby Union; it began as that, and no one has interfered. High-rounding titles without authority behind thesis are apt to cause friction. In this case the English Union has been led to exaggerate its own importance, and the President’s foolish outburst has been the result. It seems as if the time has come when historical association no longer justifies the retention of the title Rugby Union ” by the ” English Rugby Union.” Sentiment misunderstood the enemy of efficiency, the nurse of dissatisfaction, and so in this particular it must go.
The tournament must have started in 1927, as the sixth annual tournament was noted as in 1932. (1927 1st, 1928 2nd, 1929 3rd, 1930 4th, 1931 5th, 1932 6th)
A Waterford tournament was postponed from 26 April 1928. A new date was set for Thursday 3 May 1928.
The annual seven-a-side games under the auspices of the Waterford Rugby Club were played on Thursday at Newtown School grounds, kindly lent by the Governors. The games were well contested throughout, and there was good attendance. Waterford defeated C.Y.M.S. 2nd team two tries (unconverted) to nil. Waterpark beat Carrick-on-Suir by 14 pts. 0.Y.M.8. received bye; Kilrossanty absent. Dungarvan defeated Fethard by 15 points to 3. Semi-finals: C.Y.M.S. defeated Waterford by 21 points to nil. Dungarvan beat Waterpark, after a sparkling game, by 2 tried (unconverted), 6 points, to 3 points. Final.—C.Y.M.S. beat Dungarvan after splendid game. The final scores were:— 0.Y.M.8., 8 points; Dungarvan, 3 points. Lady Garraway presented the medals to the winning team. , Mr. R. Oassin thanked Lady Garraway for being present and presenting the medals, and also the Governors of the School and Mr. Marsh, Principal, for kindly placing the grounds at their disposal. Amongst those who witnessed the games were Sir E. Goff, Mr. P. de Bromhead, Major Burke, Mr. T. Gallwey, Miss de Bromhead, Lady Garraway, Mr. R. D. Patterson, etc. The set of medals were presented by the Committee of the Waterpark Rugby Club.
It was played the following year at the end of April 1929:
Despite the inclemency ol the weather, there was a fairly good attendanbee at Ballinaeeshagh Sunday last when a seven aside tournament took place in aid of the County and City Infirmary. The musical programme contributed by the Barrack St. Band considerably enlivened the proceedings. The following were the results—C.Y.M.S (6 points) v. Collegians (3 points) ; Collegians (15 points) v. Kilrossanty (0) ; Carrick-en-Suir (15 points) v. Collegians (3 points). Final—C.Y.M.S. defeated Carrickon-Suir by 14 points to 0 The scorers for the winners were Regan (2), J. Kelly and Ryan. One of the tries was converted Cullinane. The schoolboys’ encounter proved even more interesting than that of the seniors. The medals were presented to Hie winning teams the Rev, Bro. O’Neill. Superior. Waterpark College.
In 1932, teams from Leinster also took part:
The Rugby season in Waterford closes on Sunday week (10th April with the annual Seven-a-slle Tournament, at Ballinaneerhagh. This event expected to be m ich more interesting this ear, as the committee have succeeded in getting a number of prominent players from Dublin clubs to take part. Bettive, who are now in the final of the Leinster Senior Cup, are sending a seven from their cup learn. Lansdowne are sending an equally strong side, and if these two teams should meet there will be very strenuous and exciting game. The fact that the Dublin seven-a-side will not take place till the lollowing week will add interest to this game. Clonmel Is sending a very clever seven who posses speed and thrust, and they should go a long way in the tournament. Cappoquin and Carrick-on-Suir are also entered, and there will be three city teams. C.Y.M.S.. Newtown, and Waterpark Old Bovs. A tournament between four junior teams from Waterpark College will also take place. This provided a big attraction last year, and there were some very amusing incidents in the games. The juniors are extremely keen, and take their games very seriously. A set of medals is awarded the winning team. A Cinderella Dance will be held in the Palace Ballroom, Trainore, after the tournament. and will be attended by all the visiting teams. The catering will carried out the Railway Cafe. Dancing will be from 8-30 to 1-30, after which special Nomad buses leave for Waterford.