It was a fitting end to an historic weekend of International Super Beach 5’s Rugby at the Lignano Beach Arena, Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy.
Of the 12 Club teams that travelled far and wide across Europe to battle it out for 12th Lignano International Cup and 1st EBRA European Cup, it was the RC Hookers from the Netherlands who showed their strength and ultimately held their nerve to take these 2 most prestigious of titles.
In an outstanding, pulsating final, that captivated the 4,000 strong fans packed into the Lignano Beach Arena, the Hookers overcame the formidable challenge of Italy’s defending champions, Padova Beach, claiming victory with a final score of 3-2.
The Hookers had dominated their Group C in Saturday’s qualifying phase, showing every sign of their intention to make this their year. This was no surprise. Only 4 weeks earlier they had won the Zeebrugge Masters 2012 in convincing fashion beating serious rivals the Ghent Magnets and Pacific Island Wasps in the process.
When interviewed following the European Cup final victory, an overjoyed Hookers team captain, Duncan Jansen, was quick to point out, “The Lignano International Cup 2011 was our first experience of Super Beach 5’s Rugby. We quickly realised that here in Lignano the game of Beach 5’s is played at another level again. We realised if we wanted to win here in 2012, we would have to throw away everything that we thought we knew about Beach Rugby. And so we did it. We went back to the beginning. We opened the Super beach 5’s box of dreams. And now the rest is beautiful history. It’s a really proud moment,” beamed the Dutch captain.
Indeed it is beautiful history. In a weekend display from all teams that was marked by explosive power, speed, skill and a level of intensity not seen heretofore, Lignano has once again raised the bar for all other Beach Fives rugby tournaments to follow.
This is Super Beach 5’s Rugby. LIGNANO – Definitely not your Average Tournament.