Two Try’s from the Cup’s top points scorer Collins Injera and the winning try from South African, Craig Hunt, was enough to ensure the win for Frankie Horne’s side.
The Aviators sprung into an early lead thanks to scores from Riekert Hattingh and Brad Tucker to put themselves in the ascendancy, but there never say die attitude of the SX10 squad, a team that spent the opening round of the World Tens series League in self-isolation following a positive COVID-19 result, was enough to get them over the line and see them lift the WTS Cup.
The London Royals met the Ohio Aviators in the first Semi-Final, coming off a Quarter-Final bye as a reward for winning the World Tens Series League. The Aviators caught London cold and went ahead after only three minutes, Kyle Baillie powering his way over the line, carrying two Royals defenders with him.
The Canadian second row added to his tally and that of the team with another try on the stroke of half time. The Aviators' power and physicality proving too much for the Royals to handle as they extended their lead. Ben Cima kicked the two-point conversion to make it 12-0.
The Royals were much improved in the second half, Dan Norton finishing off a nice team move and, with Tom Emery’s two-point conversion, trailed by only five points with two minutes remaining. The Aviators however put in a huge defensive effort and held out to reach the inaugural WTS Cup final.
SX10 and Phoenix collided in the second Semi-Final with several South African’s on show in both camps. It was South African Craig Hunt who went in for the first score, sprinting away from the covering Phoenix defense to open the SX10 account. JT Jackson added a two-point conversion to make it 7-0 at half time.
The second half was closely fought with Phoenix putting in a spirited performance. After a long period of possession, the ball was turned over and Kenyan 7s star Oscar Ouma scored the match-winning score two minutes from time.
Ohio Aviators were relentless in the opening game of the day, crossing for four tries to defeat Miami Sun 26-5.
US Eagle Dylan Fawsitt went over for the first try of the match before Tristan Blewitt added a second score three minutes into added time at the end of the first half. Pat O’Toole raced down the line for Ohio’s third try early in the second half before Blewitt went over for his second and the Aviators fourth try.
The closest Quarter-Final of the three came in the second match of the day, Rhinos were up against Phoenix, and from minute one the Phoenix were up for the challenge.
Denis Coulson bundled his way over for a try just before half time to give Phoenix a well-deserved lead. Head Coach Braam van Straaten, included in the matchday squad as a specialist goal kicker, entered the fray to knock over a two-point jeopardy conversion.
The Rhinos came out fired up for the second half and instantly upped their level. They dominated territory and possession in the second half and were rewarded with an Eric Naposki try. Carl Meyer kicked the two-point conversion to level the scores with a minute left on the clock.
With time up, Rhinos were penalized for being offside and 49-year-old van Straaten stepped up to land the penalty goal and win the game to the jubilation of the Phoenix squad.
SX10 was up against the Asia Pacific Dragons in quarter-final three and produced a classy performance to prevail 19-0. Cecil Afrika crossed for two Try’s and Collins Injera crossed for a first-half score.