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Sunday 11 October 2015


Purchas Cup: Who will claim the silverware?

Posted in: Events
By Dean Arcuri - 4th September 2015

Can our Falcons tame the Aussies? Here's a look at the teams which have descended on Auckland for the gay and inclusive equivalent of the Bledisloe Cup – the Purchas Cup.

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This Saturday the Purchas Cup, the gay and trans inclusive Australasian rugby tournament is happening in Auckland.

Last year's Purchas titleholders the Brisbane Hustlers are unable to defend their title this year as they have a limited squad in New Zealand, but they are still coming along for a fantastic tour.

“Winning the Cup for the first time last year was a momentous occasion for us,” Hustlers Vice President Martin Tebutt says. “This is the first time the Purchas Cup will be held outside Australia which offers a great opportunity for our players to enjoy a country and a culture with which rugby is such an intrinsically part of.

“We're looking forward to a fantastic weekend. We're sending a mixed squad which will be fantastic exposure for many players that haven't played at this level before, combined with experienced players who will direct them around the park. We aim to play some expansive running rugby, and enjoy what will be a first rugby tour for many of our squad members.”

“We have had a great year and had success against top-level competition in our Queensland comp,” Tebutt adds. “More importantly we have grown as a club, with more new players, club members, supporters and sponsors, selling out all of our fundraising events in a great sign for this year and years to come.”

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2014 was a fantastic year for the Sydney Convicts, who not only hosted the Bingham Cup, but also won the Silverware in 1st and 3rd divisions. With the NZ Falcons winning Bingham's 2nd division it's certainly going to be an exciting weekend of rugby this weekend.

“We've been heavily preparing the team for Purchas for the last few weeks,” says Sydney Convicts President Robert McPhearson. “This year mainly consisted of rebuilding on the field after the highs of Bingham last year. A lot of last season's 2nd graders have stepped up to the 1st grade, so player development this year has been a key focus.”

When the Sydney Convicts started the year strong beating the Melbourne Chargers to win the Neil Hay Cup in February's Pride Match, McPhearson said he was looking forward to a rematch at Purchas, and the convicts are ready to bring their all.

“The team has had more time to gel, we had a few players retire and some new talented youngsters join us, so we are in much better shape now.”

“Off the field we continue to be extremely active, a number of highlights this year being, the release of the documentary scrum, being the lead float at Mardi Gras, as well as our usual fundraising events, Trivia and Rugger Bugger.”

With seven rugby teams hitting the field, the one-day tournament will see some intense rugby. The weather may be wet in Auckland this weekend but that's not slowing anyone down.

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“We are really excited for Purchas with a lot of this year's new players looking forward to playing rugby in New Zealand,” Melbourne Chargers President Dan Syrus tells us. “Purchas is a great opportunity to hang out and play with other queer people who know about rugby, and it's a great way for everyone to break out of their shell and have an amazing time and make good friends.

“The season has been really good, we've played some great rugby,” says Syrus, “but it has been an interesting year as we've had quite a number of injuries on both our A & B teams, with 60 per cent of our players having missed a game or two. So the fact that we are at the end of the season and we still have two strong teams, which we are able to bring to Purchas, shows our resilience and the dedication of our guys."

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“The Purchas Cup provides us with a good opportunity to prepare for the Bingham Cup in America next year,” adds NZ Falcons Captain Jeremy Brankin.

“Both Purchas and Bingham are such great environments and fantastic opportunities, particularly for some of our players who are new to the game. We get to connect with a diverse range of people from across the globe and share our love for rugby.”

We'll let you know how it goes tomorrow – but if you're in Auckland get on down to Western Springs Stadium and support the teams!

Game day schedule at Western Springs Stadium:
8.55am Powhiri – Welcome Ponsonby Clubrooms
9.45am Brisbane Hustlers v NZ Falcons B
11.00am NZ Falcons v Sydney Convicts
12.15pm Melbourne Chargers B v Brisbane Hustlers
1.30pm Sydney Convicts v Melbourne Chargers
2.45pm NZ Falcons B v Melbourne Chargers B
4.00pm Melbourne Chargers v NZ Falcons


Dean Arcuri - 4th September 2015

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