Continuing on the theme of Nines and Sevens tournaments this week, we’ve chosen to go back to 2002 for our Friday Flashback.
Whilst Rugby League has Nines (with the Auckland Nines getting going this weekend), rugby union has perennially had Sevens tournaments – and occasionally, they let RL sides take part, too.
However, in 2002, the powers that be in the 15-man code will have no doubt wished they hadn’t asked Bradford Bulls to take part, after they blitzed through the field to win the famous Middlesex Sevens at the very first attempt.
The Bulls proved eager for competition, despite playing against St Helens in the Super League on Friday night – the same weekend as they headed to Twickenham for the Sevens. Led by Robbie Hunter-Paul, Bradford swept aside Leeds, handed-off old boy Henry Paul’s Gloucester, conquered the Army and then defeated Wasps 42-14 in the final.
Bradford, who emulated Wigan’s success of 1996, conceded only six tries overall and were never truly stretched. Tongan wing Tevita Vaikona provided the first try in the final, running and weaving 50 metres. Two more tries before half-time, by Leon Pryce and Michael Withers, brought a 21-0 advantage which put the game beyond Wasps.
Want to watch it for the first time – or simply re-live it? You can do so with the video below. Just click play to watch!