In late August, 2014 the Brisbane Hustlers Rugby Club descended upon the streets of Sydney to compete in their inaugural Bingham Cup Tournament.
With the majority of the playing group arriving on Thursday the 27th, the Hustlers’ presence was clearly visible – wearing the tour kit proudly sponsored by Aussie Bum. The team traveled as a pack as official proceedings saw all teams pose against the iconic Sydney Opera House backdrop, and mingle at the Opening Night party held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.
The team remained as a pack as excitement quickly turned to anticipation of the impending competition. With the Brisbane Hustlers Rugby Club never before competing in the Bingham Cup, there was a sense of anxiety and enthusiasm- anxiety to test, and enthusiasm to prove themselves against the world’s best. However the weather was not as enthusiastic about the competition. The weekend saw a constant downpour accompanied by cool breezes resulting in a cold, muddy tournament – for some, perfect rugby weather; for others, a tough slog.
Regardless, the Hustlers’ entered the Bingham Cup arena primed to take on the San Francisco Fog, who were at the time ranked 2nd in the world. The conditions made for a slow, forward focused game which resulted in a low score, but ultimately a 5-0 win to the Hustlers. After a successful introduction to the Bingham Cup, the Hustlers had to back up immediately and take on the Manchester Village Spartans. With the sun briefly shining down on the main field (and some great drainage) the Hustlers’ were able to play a more expansive game leading to a 50-0 victory.
On the second day of competition the Brisbane Hustlers faced off against fellow newcomers, the New Zealand Falcons. Yet again, the heavens unleashed a steady torrent upon the last of the pool games; however, this did not stop a heated competition which resulted in a 14-24 victory to the Hustlers.
The second day also saw the first game of the quarter finals – in which the Hustlers again faced off against the San Francisco Fog. After a few hours of sunlight, the ground had firmed enough that both teams were able to utilise a slightly quicker game plan which saw both teams notch a few more points on the board. The last 10 minutes of this game saw the lead exchanged several times, with the Hustlers securing the victory in the last 2 minutes of the game. This was the Hustlers tightest game – winning by only 2 points at 16-14.
The Hustlers’ final day of competition saw them face off against the world’s 1st and 3rd ranked teams. The day began with a fierce battle against the Kings Cross Steelers. With a spot in the grand final hanging in the balance both teams were fighting vigorously to gain the victory. One of the most physical games of the tournament both teams walked away completely spent; but through determination, the Hustlers’ walked away victors – with a 14-8 win.
With that, the Hustlers were in the grand final; facing off against the reigning world champions, the Sydney Convicts. After a three hour respite, the Brisbane Hustlers ran onto to the field for the last time. While the team looked promising in the first 10 minutes, the previous days’ battles had taken their tole. The vigour the Hustlers had displayed in previous games quickly faded and allowed the Sydney Convicts run away with the final victory.
Regardless of the outcome, the team were immensely proud of their achievements. As a club, the Brisbane Hustlers fielded one and half teams; with the A side fighting for a number 2 world ranking and the Baa Baa’s sticking it to a number of US teams (read about the Baa Baas here). The Brisbane Hustlers are also the first team in Bingham Cup history to have debuted and successfully made it to the finals. After a grueling 3 day tournament the Brisbane Hustlers Rugby Club returned to Brisbane with a renewed sense of unity and determination. This sense of unity continues even now, as the team continually works to be stronger and quicker for the 2015 Brisbane Suburb Rugby competition, and the 2016 Bingham Cup in Nashville
If you’re interested in joining, or contributing to the Brisbane Hustlers Rugby Club head over to our recruitment or contact us page and let us know. We’re always welcoming new players and supporters into the Club.