The results of the state of origin style match surprised many in the crowd, given the Brisbane Hustlers beat the Sydney Convicts earlier this year at the Australian cup of gay rugby.
An estimated 6000 people came to watch the grand finals, including numerous sport and elected officials. This included the CEO of Australian Rugby Union Bill Pulver who at the start of the tournament announced new policies to address homophobia. Also watching the games was Federal Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull, American 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.
Other VIP’s who came to watch the games over the three day tournament included Australia’s head of state, Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove, as well as two rugby world cup winning captains John Eales and Nick Farr-Jones.Bingham Cup President and founder of the Sydney Convicts, Andrew Purchas, said:
New Zealand Falcon captain Jeremy Brankin said that while the win is a bonus, the real rush is playing for his country. “I couldn’t ask more from the boys, we just gave it absolutely everything out on the field. It has been an amazing tournament. 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.
“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. In some respects the Southern Hemisphere dominated, winning the top three trophies: the Sydney Convicts A team won the Bingham Cup, the Melbourne Chargers won the runner up prize which is called the Bingham Plate, and the New Zealand Falcons won the lower-tier competition, called the Bingham Bowl. The Sydney Convicts C team also won the runner-up in the lower-tier, called the Bingham Shield”.
Bru Amerlynck, captain for Dublin based Emerald Valkyries, was extremely congratulatory of the Falcon’s results and really impressed with his team’s performance to continue to deliver a strong performance right to the end.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the boys. We came here together – won five of the five games and got to the finals which really exceeded our expectations.