LOCAL rugby team the Melbourne Chargers have won this year’s Bingham Cup, a biennial world championship of gay rugby.
The Chargers defeated the Sydney Convicts 20 – 7 in Nashville where this year’s tournament was held.
— Bingham Cup 2016 (@BinghamCup2016) May 29, 2016
chargers win! 20-7 over the SydneySydney Convicts Rugby Clubb
— Melbourne Chargers (@MelbChargers) May 29, 2016
The Chargers’ club founder Ben Lancken said he couldn’t be more proud of the team.
“This isn’t my moment, it’s theirs,” he told the Star Observer.
“It’s a moment to be relished by anybody who has ever pulled on the jersey, fundraised, supported, volunteered, or contributed in any way.
“I couldn’t be prouder… eight years and we’ve done it.”
For most of the game, the Chargers steadily scored points while the Convicts remained on zero.
And while the Convicts ultimately scored seven points, it wasn’t enough to defeat the Chargers.
— Dolly Diamond (@_DollyDiamond) May 29, 2016
Chargers President Dan Syrus said all teams played incredibly well over the humid three days.
“It was amazing to win the Bingham Cup,” he said.
“Everyone played out of their skins over the three days in blistering heat and humidity.
“The Sydney Convicts played well and we’re proud that the cup remains in Australia.”
More than 40 teams from the United States and around the world competed this year over the three-day tournament.
From Australia these included the Brisbane Hustlers, the Melbourne Chargers, and the Sydney Convicts, with the latter two making it to the grand final against each other.
— SameSame.com.au (@samesame) May 29, 2016
The Chargers’ B-team also played, however they didn’t make any wins in their division.
The B-team’s captain Michael Smith said he still couldn’t be prouder of how his boys represented the Chargers.
“We were given a tough draw at the Bingham Cup, but the upside was that we got the chance to play against two original gay teams – the Kings Cross Steelers from London and the San Francisco Fog,” he said.
“While the results didn’t go the way for the B-team, I couldn’t be prouder of the way the guys fought.”
The Bingham Cup was named after Mark Bingham, a rugby player who helped establish two premier gay rugby teams and unfortunately passed away during the 9/11 attacks.
The last Bingham Cup was held in Sydney in 2014.