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Bingham Cup
Sydney Convicts win fourth Bingham Cup title
ESPN Staff
August 31, 2014
Sydney Convicts celebrate winning the Bingham Cup © Bingham Cup (Image Supplied)

Bingham Cup Honour Roll

The Bingham Cup © Getty Images
  • 2002: San Francisco Fog (San Franciso)
  • 2004: San Francisco Fog (London)
  • 2006: Sydney Convicts (New York)
  • 2008: Sydney Convicts (Dublin)
  • 2010: Gotham Knights (Minneapolis)
  • 2012: Sydney Convicts (Manchester, England)
  • 2014: Sydney Convicts (Sydney)

Sydney Convicts retained the Bingham Cup with a 31-0 thrashing of Brisbane Hustlers in the grand final at Rose Bay in Sydney.

Australian teams dominated the three-day international tournament, the gay and inclusive rugby World Cup, with the Convicts, Australia's first gay rugby union club, winning the trophy having beaten their B 58-0 in the semi-finals. The Hustlers, meanwhile, defeated London's Kings Cross Steelers by six points in the second semi-final - a bad-tempered affair that witnessed the first red card of the tournament - to set up the all-Australian finale.

The Convicts' C side defeated Chicago Dragons 12-5 to win the Bingham Shield, while Melbourne Chargers A beat San Francisco Fog to take the Bingham Plate and New Zealand Falcons won the Bingham Bowl from the Emerald Valkyries.

Convicts captain Steve Thorne, one of the team's original players, said "we have been travelling every two years for a decade to other countries to play and so to win on our home turf in front a massive crowd is really beyond anything we could have dreamed would come true".

Hustlers captain John Blunt paid tribute to his team, saying "we are very excited that the Brisbane Hustlers reached the finals since we were only formed two years ago, who knows where we are going be next time around".

Falcons captain Jeremy Brankin said "playing for New Zealand is what puts a tingle down my spine".

"It's awesome playing for your country and representing not only your country but the queer community there," Brankin said.

Sydney Convicts 31-0 Brisbane Hustlers

Non-Pacific teams only got a look in on the third-tier Hoagland Cup and Vase, named after Mark Bingham's mother, Alice Hoagland. Philadelphia Gryphons overcame Ottawa Wolves to take the Cup with the Southern USA Ba Baas defeating Boston Ironsides for the Vase.

Australian and New Zealand teams dominate the Bingham Cup

An estimated 6000 people came to watch the grand finals, including Australian Rugby Union chief executive Bill Pulver, Federal communications minister Malcolm Turnbull, United States ambassador to Australia John Berry, and sporting stars such as Australian rugby league legend Steve Mortimer and openly gay Olympic gold medallist swimmer Daniel Kowalski, while Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Australia's two Rugby World Cup-winning captains, John Eales and Nick Farr-Jones, attended over the three-day tournament.

"We saw a spectacular game of rugby in the final and we had a very successful three days at the tournament, and ultimately that's what is important," said Bingham Cup president Andrew Purchas, an out gay rugby player and founder of the Sydney Convicts.

Thorne, meanwhile, said "the level of rugby being played has also gone up significantly, which also shows the massive interest and commitment to play good, hard and tough rugby in the gay community".

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