Although we don't get out much here at the Relish, we do enjoy a good game. Whether it be tennis, cricket, elephant polo or Guyball we love all of them, so naturally when we were offered the chance to go to the world famous Melrose 7s we leapt at the chance.
The oldest 7s rugby tournament in the world, every year the tiny town of Melrose plays host to 24 teams and over 10,000 fans who descend to enjoy the sun, rugby and beer. We thought this sounded like a good combination so we go and check out what all the fuss was about.
On the rugby front there were some cracking teams on display including Premiership champions Saracens, Singapore and Hong Kong Scottish all competing for the Ladies Cup and there was some fine rugby to be had for connoisseurs of the game. Hosts Melrose bowed out in the third round and Singapore were early casualties to Aberdeen GSFP. A good effort from London Scottish saw them through to the semis but they failed to make it through to the grand final,
which rather disappointingly was a bit of a wash out with Heriott's RFC being blown out of the water by the professional Sarries.
The action wasn't simply restricted to the pitch though. With the ground boasting a sizeable beer tent, the Relish frequently took a chance to refresh itself and have a chat with some of the locals, which proved most illuminating. After a couple of hours of much needed lubrication we were lucky enough to be given a tour of the environs by a couple of local students and ended up, with the aid of sufficient refreshment stops of course, having a pint in a prep school cricket pavilion, hiding from a group of Thai children behind a portaloo, a field, a butcher's van, and at one stage the centre of the main pitch along with 7,000 others. What happened next can only be described as a 3000-a-side scrum.
As far as after rugby entertainment goes, the 7s offered a wide range of events, from a Lady Gaga tribute act (something the Relish decided to give a miss), to various house parties scattered around the surrounding countryside, one of which graciously played host to us. As much as we love to recount what went on that night we're afraid you'll have to ask someone else, but we do know we had an excellent time and would like to offer readers of the Relish one piece of key advice: never, ever accept a drinking challenge from a Kiwi rugby team.
All in all, we had an excellent weekend, full of excitement and laughter and thoroughly recommend the Melrose 7s to anyone looking for a fun couple of days over Easter who loves 7s and a bit of good fashioned, amateur era rugby banter.
Relish Rating: 8/10.