Devils Turn out in Style for the 2021 Sino 10s
On May 29, the Devils and SheDevils were out in force at Beijing rugby’s annual flagship event, the Sino 10s. With the men fielding two teams (dirty and horny) and the women having a packed schedule, it promised to be a day which required a full squad effort. The club responded like the champions we are!
The SheDevils’ opening few games were close encounters. Led by their young whipper snapper Liya, the fearless Valiha and captain fantastic Jade, the ladies showed their class, albeit for some slight misinterpretations of the try line proving the difference. For the dirty devils, a close scrap with the Ducks resulted in a narrow defeat despite an excellent solo try from Vinny and Monster tackling from Justin Van Jaarsveld and Company.
The horny devils started the day in typical fashion, steamrolling the Aardvarks, before coming up short against a physical and well-organized Suzhou side and narrowly losing out to the Shenzhen (ducks). Next up, the dirty devils responded to their early setback with a domineering performance against the Shanghai dolphins, before narrowly losing out to Changzhou. This was despite some impressive back line moves that almost resulted in the try of the day, when Vinny came inches close to releasing Peter Kalo via a precision cross field kick.
Meanwhile, the SheDevils continued to battle away by leveraging the full extent of their rejuvenated squad as the games kept coming. Gemma kicked a** as ever with multiple courageous ball carries, while Elicia and Carina exploited space on the outside, and the tireless Vicky Turnbull continued to make bonecrunching hits to the cheers of club mascot, Emma Grace. Despite not quite getting the results they needed, the day finished in glory with Jade steamrolling multiple Shanghai defenders to touch down for a final hurrah. After a hard days’ work, the ladies retired to bar with the raptuous applause of their fans, both young and old!
The afternoon session saw both men’s sides enter the bowl competition. First up, the horny devils took on Kunming in what proved to be Toby’s last (rugby) game in a Devils shirt. The lads did him proud by dominating the opposition from start to finish, with some piercing runs from Orisi, monster hits from Emory and Steve, whilst Brent, Captain Jack and Tasi pulled the strings in the backs. The lads ended up worthy winners.
On the other pitch, the dirty Devils dug deep to produce their best performance of the day, with Justin showing both beauty and ability to beat defenders to set up the domineering pack of Planch, Buxton and Big Tay, who did the damage from close range. The game ended with an epic “jump” try from Jack Chang which, despite questionable legality, captured the hearts and minds of the China rugby community as the most shared WeChat sticker post-tournament.
With the day’s play resulting in a Devils vs Devils bowl final, the only logical choice was to settle it the old-fashioned way. With a fully qualified ref to officiate, the men battled it out in the center of the pitch by boat racing lukewarm Yanjing’s to decide the eventual winners, the Dirty Devils.
Overall, it was an epic day to round off a quality season both on and off the pitch for the men and women of the Beijing Devils. With the return of the SheDevils and a 100% record for the men in 15s competition, the message is clear to China rugby. THE DEVILS ARE BACK!!