Is the Middlesex 7's dead?

Discussion in 'Aviva Premiership / LV Cup' started by poobrain, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. poobrain

    poobrain Guest

    I go every year for a day out, but over the last few years the Middlesex 7's seems to have fewer and fewer people attending. Most people don't even know it's now just the 12 premiership sides.

    With the RWC it's bound to be quiet this year, but that aside, does it have a role?

    I think it should be used as a showcase for new and young talent - although it's 7's, what better way for an up and coming winger / center to make a name for themselves.
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  3. philhirons

    philhirons Guest

    Not being big head but the Northampton Saints always send down alot of fans to this event and with us not being in it this year i cant see the same amount coming from leeds...
  4. I don't understand why they cut it down to just the Premiership sides. It used to involve far more than that, such as invitational sides like the Penguins. The organisers shot themselves in the foot by restircting it to 12 teams IMO.
  5. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    Ah, but heaven forbid anyone bar the top 12 sides get any coverage. The RFU demand it be so! It's bad enough there is any other team then those with the Rose, Tiger, Wasp or Bathtub emblazened across their chest...
  6. philhirons

    philhirons Guest

    Adverts will be shown during sale sharks and gloucester games :)
  7. poobrain

    poobrain Guest

    Years ago it used to be the equivalent of the FA Cup for rugby 7's. Clubs in the first 2 or 3 divisions (I think?) used to have to qualify to get to the finals and then they'd add in a few invitational sides - some international minnows and some completely random. The day followed a knock-out format and was really fun.

    I guess the game turning pro was the first nail in the coffin, the second nail was the introduction of the international 7's circuit. And of course they moved it from April/May, but IMO that was a good thing.

    I'm going again this year, but only because I got tickets two for the price of one, meaning a day out at HQ is £15. I can think of worse ways to spend the day, unless the weather gives up... in which case i just won't turn up.
  8. Tin

    Tin Guest

    the fans there may be dwindling and it may not be an important event to most coaches but none the less
    it is still a great place to see new talent, for example last year i remember watching cipriani i think run riot

    and at the end of the day its always great to watch sevens even if others disagree :)

    although if they added divison 1 teams etc it would be a lot bigger event helping division one team players get spotted and show theyre worth
  9. big_dave_07

    big_dave_07 Guest

    its only now the premiership sides because they let bradford bulls league team in one year and they handed everyones arses back to them on a silver platter!
  10. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    The 2002 tournament that was, and it wasn't Bradford "handed everyones arses back to them on a silver platter" as you so eliquently put it, they had to battle the whole way. Until recently, it was regularly the invitational sides (Penguins, BaaBaas and Army especially) who would win the whole thing as top flight clubs would just put their kids out for a run.

    Or was that another generic "OMG LEAGUE > YAWNION!!ONEONE!!!IELEVEN!!" post?
  11. scousetiger

    scousetiger Guest

    even if crowds are getting smaller, it seems that teams are taking it more seriously, and have been sending down stronger teams in the more recent tournaments.
    i think many teams see it as a good warm up to the season, due to the intensity and skills involved
  12. Vossy

    Vossy Guest

    Something needs to be done to raise the profile back to what it was. It's not just the fans but also the teams that seem to be losing interest. Quins were absolutely diabolical this year and an embarrassment to the sides that used to regularly win the tournament years ago.

    I didn't go this year (for the first time in a while) and instead got the sorry news from a fellow season ticket holder. The whole thing needs a rethink to allow the old invitational teams back in (as well as ND1?) and have a simple knockout format throughout. Changing the timing of the competition to the end of the season might also be an idea.

    The Middlesex 7's used to be fun.... :cryy:
  13. skinnyquin

    skinnyquin Guest

    I went down and the feeling in the stadium was far more of a pre-season jolly than a serious competition. Only Newcastle seemed to have much in the way of a team, although Worcester and Leeds (surprisingly) both looked fairly competent. Every other team was made up in a similar way to Quins (aside from wasps fielding Cipriani unannounced) i.e. predominantly academy kids, juniors and journeymen. The whole thing was somewhat let down by the complete inability of anyone to kick anywhere near the posts as well.

    Aside from the final, by which time half the crowd was hiding from the rain anyway, people seemed to be spending their time at the bar or queing for food; I went to get a burger and there were more people hanging around outside (most of them trying to find somewhere to get away with having a fag) than watching games at that point. By the end the biggest cheers were for people farting about in the stands in costume rather than anything on the pitch and the atmosphere seemed to be more about the day out than the matches.

    I think the clubs seem to have lost interest in anything more than using it to give the kiddies a run-around. Rethink time.
  14. Wasps fielded both Cipriani and Haskell unanounced because they were not sure whether or not they'd be available, or whether they'd instead be going to France, at the time of the programme going to print.

    I agree that no-one apart from Newcastle, the Exiles and Worcester seemed up for it. The latter did amazingly well - I thought they were going to get killed in their group facing Gloucester and Wasps but they finished top of it and got all the way to the final. Saw some promising stuff from Leeds as well. Quins and Sarries clearly couldn't be arsed, and Wasps - well, I can honestly say that was the most feeble title defence I've ever seen.

    The event is fantastic, and it's a shame the crowds aren't bigger. Those who did turn up seemed to be having a lot of fun, albeit in a bit of a rowdy fashion at times (me and my mate ended up next to a stag party, and during the semis there was a polystyrene head being thrown around the stand). I think it was inevitably going to be a lean year given the build up to RWC '07 - after all, the last Investec Challenge match was being played that evening. And also it is quite early to be thinking about club rugby, given that the double header isn't till the second week of September (is that right?). Perhaps try linking the two events? Ie, play the 7s tournament on the Saturday and then the Double Header on the Sunday - the four London sides didn't use many first team players anyway...
  15. skinnyquin

    skinnyquin Guest

    The event is brilliant and judging it on this year is probably unfair - as you say the RWC is going to hit attendances. I don't have a problem with the boisterous behaviour in the crowd either, there's a festival atmosphere which I quite like, and it never seems to go too far. And I did forget to mention the Exiles who played well and looked fairly hungry.

    Interesting idea about running the two events on the same weekend but would it not put teams off fielding first-teamers completely? I think that would complete the transition from serious competition to run-out for the juniors. There would still be value in the latter for the clubs but as a fan/spectator I think I'd find it hard to justify turning up to watch an academy competition.

    Going back to running it at the end of the season after the play-off final could work though. I don't think it's dead, might need a shot of adrenaline to get the heart beating though.
  16. I agree with you completely, I wouldn't buy tickets that granted me entry to an academy version of the Middlesex 7s only - what I'm suggesting is - turn the whole thing into a whole big festival of rugby. Charge £50 for tickets that grant entrance to both days instead of charging £30 for each. If the 7s becomes an academy competition as you say, that might not be a bad thing - a good opportunity for the clubs to blood the young talent, and for us to see them.

    And for the record, I didn't mind the boisterousness either. In fact, I think I threw the polystyrene head at a police officer at one point. :p
  17. jonny215

    jonny215 Guest

    Havent been to the sevens since they made it premiership only, was more interesting when they had the penguins/army etc teams in there
  18. Vambo

    Vambo Guest

    I always watch and enjoy the Middlesex 7's on the tv.

    First watched it the year that Wigan were invited and I loved it (not just because Wigan won I hasten to add) but it has IMO lost some of it's appeal with the lack of invitation sides.
    Bradford deserve a lot of credit for their victory because the night before they got "handed their arses back to them on a silver platter" from a rampant Stains side.

    I've always felt that the invitation sides be they crosscoders or the army etc, put 100% effort into the comp which IMO lifts the level of the rest of the teams and makes for a great tournament.
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