The Bumbles started the Daniel Dubus 7s Tournement in Saint Omer after playing a bruising full 15 a side game against the local side the night before.
Nursing a few hangovers the team split into Bumbles 1 and Bumbles 2 and spent the morning doing a round robin of some mini training sessions with the Audomerois coaches all the time being viewed by the French International Backs coach Patrice Lagisquet (1987 RWC runner-up and 46 caps for Les Blues)!!!
Patrice was hugely impressed by the spirit and energy the Bumbles put into the exercises in the oppressive September heat, amazed at the skills shown by the players. You could tell this by the huge smiles and banter he was having with the Bumbles, especially during the 1 v 1 tackling session.
All warmed up and raring to go the French decided it was lunch time and unbelievably stopped for 2 hours to stuff their faces with sausage and chips? Only in France...
At 1400 bellies bulging the competition got underway with the Bumbles 1 and Bumbles 2 having opening fixtures, the Bumbles stuck to their model and got a victory and a draw, the games were hard fought affairs with Martino (Chico) Corrazza getting smashed in the first 30 seconds. The tournament was fantastic with all the sides trying to get results to take the trophy. The best Bumbles 1 game of the tournament was Bumbles 1 against the favorites Les Blues Saint Omer with Martin smashing his way into the corner to take the win for the Brits. Bumbles 2 amazingly beat Bumbles 1 (not sure how) and this put both Brit teams firmly in contention for the tournament winners.
There were a few cries of consternation from the home crowd after Les Blues and favourites took a kicking from Bumbles 1 and the Bumbles changed to the French Model of facilitation.
No Matter, the players just stepped up and proceeded to compete against everything France could throw at them. Huge amounts of tries from Paul (the smash ball) working as a center and an Italian signing for the day Gabriele Girocchi. Nickname "Il lungo", running in 6 tries with chants of GABI GABI GABI mocking the opposition. Bumbles teams finished with Bumbles 2 in second place followed by Bumbles 1 in 3rd.
We all believed there was to be a series of play off games, 1st v 3rd and 2nd v 4th ect However it may have been the heat, the sausage and chip vomit on the pitch or the fact that there may have been an all Brit final the competition was suspended. Away to the bar and down town for a few well earned beers.
So the Bumbles returned from Tour de France 2014 with a batch of trophy’s some great memories and loads of new friends, roll on the return games back in Bingley for the World Cup 2015. Vive le Bumbles !!!!!