by Molly Hancock
COME rain, hail or shine, Gallas Fox Park hosted the fifth annual Santos Roma Rugby Sevens tournament.
This year 18 male teams and five female teams took to the ground to battle it out for the Roma Echidnas Rugby 7s Tanya Osborne Cup and the Emilee Cherry Cup.
Despite Roma receiving about 40mm of rain, the event still went ahead, supporters and players braving the surprisingly cool change from the first whistle at 8am.
Teams from as far as Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Melbourne trekked to Roma for a chance to win a share of the $13,000 prize money.
The carnival aims to raise money for the Roma Echidnas expenses during the season.
"We are the longest travelling club in Australia and during the season we travel from here to Gatton, Toowoomba, Goondiwindi, Dalby and Condamine,” president Nick Cook said.
This year had an increase in the number of women's teams.
Last year was the first time the tournament held a women's competition with three teams taking part.
"We were originally up to eight teams but had three pull out due to people being selected in representative teams but it's definitely growing and getting more popular,” Cook said.
"The standard of the rugby is getting better every year and is great competition,” Cook said.
The team from UQ continued their impressive team work from last year as they took out the Roma Echidna 7s Tanya Osborne Cup for the second year in a row over Brisbane Fiji, the 2016 cup winners.
The wet and muddy conditions appeared to swing in UQ1's favour as they won 19-0, with no signs of slowing down.
Both coach David Jackman and captain Harry Curtin said it was their attitude and willingness to win that got them over the line.
"I think our attitude really got us over the line today and in the finals we really dug deep for each other,” Curtin said.
In the women's competition the Sunshine Coast Stingrays and Brothers Rockhampton Women faced off in a nail-biting match.
At the final buzzer both teams sat on five-all, making them go into overtime.
The girls from the Sunshine Coast Stingrays used their experience in playing in wet conditions and secured a try to win the match.
"The field was a little bit soggy but that gave us the upper hand and we had to just put our heads down and get the job done,” Stingrays captain Sophie Bell said.
In the other divisions, Condamine Cods took out the Men's Bowl final and Brothers Rockhampton won the Men's Plate.
Check out all the action from the Santos Roma Rugby Sevens on the weekend below.