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Bingham Cup 2014.


Nick Farr-Jones (63)
Staff member
The global rugby tournament honouring an Aussie hero kicks off this weekend. This is this thread for it.

Anyone out there able to cover it for us? At least a summary article - a preview would be great. Pls DM me.

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Mark Bingham is the hero. Unfortunately not an Aussie.

Here is his mother Alice Hoagland and friend Jason Reimuller from the San Francisco Fog at training for the Bingham Cup. (from Wikipedia).
The blue sky suggests that the photo may not have been taken this week.:)


Hey Gentlemen,
My first post, but feel i'm uniquely placed to comment.

Mark Bingham was a close friend of mine. Yesterday marked 11 years since we lost him.
I have played in x4 Bingham Cups. Won 2 of them. Played in the Final in a 3rd. And ran 3rd in my final one.
I'm a straight guy. While a lot of my Brothers are gay, I have never been that way inclined.

Mark along with a handful of us started the San Francisco Fog in 2000 in a pub - where things of this nature start.
As a straight, married guy living in San Francisco with a bunch of Gay buddies , and after playing here at home since I was 4 years old, I thought it was a great idea for me to lend a hand.
I loved the idea of creating a place to be able to play for everyone. Gay, straight, black, white - if you had never seen a Rugby ball in your life that was cool. We would teach you. We had the opportunity to create a "Rugby Utopia" - and we did. I was very much the "token straight guy" in the early years - but it didn't bother me and it didn't bother them. We were all there for one thing - to play Football.

A year later and September rolls around. Needless to say it was pretty heavy. We knew Mark was on that plane as he was coming back for practice that evening.
In his honor we created the Bingham Cup.

The first was held in San Francisco in 2002. We were lucky winners in the Final against a tough as nails London team. The joy on the faces of my Brothers - who mostly had never won any kind of sporting endevor in their life was memorable - to say the least. I was interviewed by NPR (National Public Radio) before the tournament began (as the "token" i'd imagine) and was asked an interesting question. "What's it like for a straight guy playing Gay Rugby?". I had not thought of it like that before and thought it was strange to do so. I told the guy, "Dude, I don't play Gay Rugby. I play Rugby. It's the same game they play in the UK/NZ and at home in Australia. Same rules. I just happen to play it with bunch of Gay guys."

The second in 2004 was in London. It was a crazy week and ended with us going back-to-back after beating Manchester in the Final.
I carried the Bingham Cup back to San Francisco. When I checked in on British Airways I was upgraded to Busines Class. The Cup rode in the spare seat next to me back to the City of Champions.
Later that year we created a Womens team with the same ethos. Anyone, anywhere, any background, any size, you have a home here. We will teach you.
We also started going into local schools to run clinics on the same principles.

3rd Bingham Cup was in New York. Another crazy week with games played on a field out in the East River.
Had to rake the stones and glass off the field into huge mounds before each game. Classy.
We made the final where we faced a new team on the block - Sydney. Interestingly, started by another buddy of mine who played with me in San Francisco during the 1st Cup. Being an Aussie also he came home and started the Convicts. And what a team it was. Solid and tough all over the park. They beat us in the New York summer swealter by about 16-12 if I recall correctly.

The 4th and my final Cup in Dublin was in 2008. More new classy teams on the block included a gritty New York team who beat us for a shot at the Final. Sydney was already there waiting.
Sydney did the job on them quite easily from what I remember - which was not much. I got my teeth knockled out on the Final play of the game V's New York.

Whats the point in all this? Not much aside from explaining that your sexuality means nothing. As did your ability mean nothing, your experience, your race or your religion.
It's not as if you have to show some of kind of "Gay ID" in order to get a run.
What you do have to posses is a love for the game and a desire to have under-represented people play it.
Its the game the play in Heaven. Best to get everyone started on it down here before they get there right?

Mark is waiting.

@Gagger, Do you have access to The Fly via email? His piece above is one of the best posts I've read in a long time.

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Hi @Fly,

Welcome back. Any chance you or one of your former team mates could knock up a piece for the front page?

I reckon that an updated version of your fantastic post above would be an ideal preview/background piece.


Bob McCowan (2)
Hey Hugh,
I can't really put the time into it at the moment.
And I've not seen the lads this week - flat out at work and have a wee one at home.
I do plan to sneak over tomorrow though - can't on Saturday due to our own last round of Subbies - or Sunday with baby duties.
Feel free to pull it apart at your leisure if you want to.
It seems you have a handle on it anyway.
I'd be interested in reading what you have to say.

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Facing the Haka : SF Fog vs NZ Falcons

Results page here:

Results so far:
LA Rebellion defeated Chicago Dragons by 33- 0
New Zealand Falcons defeated Manchester Village Spartans by 22- 0
Sydney Convicts B defeated Gotham Knights by 5- 0
West Coast Phever defeated Muddy Armada Berzerkers by 24- 5
Amsterdam Lowlanders defeated Boston Ironsides by 12- 12
Emerald Valkyries defeated Hustler Australian Ba Bas by 10- 0
Sydney Convicts A defeated Melbourne Chargers A by 19- 0
Brisbane Hustlers defeated San Francisco Fog by 5- 0
Kings Cross Steelers A defeated Royal Bucks by 57- 0
Kings Cross Steelers B defeated Philadelphia Gryphons by 15- 0
Sydney Convicts C defeated Southern USA Ba Bas by 37- 0
Ottawa Wolves defeated Melbourne Chargers B by 14- 5
Brisbane Hustlers defeated Manchester Village Spartans by 50- 0
Gotham Knights defeated Royal Bucks by 38- 0
Melbourne Chargers A defeated LA Rebellion by 10- 5
Southern USA Ba Bas defeated Boston Ironsides by 17- 10
Emerald Valkyries defeated Melbourne Chargers B by 34- 0
Kings Cross Steelers B defeated West Coast Phever by 0- 0
San Francisco Fog defeated New Zealand Falcons by 11- 8
Kings Cross Steelers A defeated Sydney Convicts B by 13- 5
Sydney Convicts A defeated Chicago Dragons by 54- 0
Sydney Convicts C defeated Amsterdam Lowlanders by 34 - 5
Ottawa Wolves defeated Hustler Australian Ba Bas by 10 - 0
Philadelphia Gryphons defeated Muddy Armada Berzerkers by 20 - 0

Games to come for Pool Play on Day 2
Sydney Convicts B v Royal Bucks
Muddy Armada Berzerkers v Kings Cross Steelers B
Amsterdam Lowlanders v Southern USA Ba Bas
Hustler Australian Ba Bas v Melbourne Chargers B
Chicago Dragons v Melbourne Chargers A
New Zealand Falcons v Brisbane Hustlers
Ottawa Wolves v Emerald Valkyries
Philadelphia Gryphons v West Coast Phever
Sydney Convicts C v Boston Ironsides
Kings Cross Steelers A v Gotham Knights
Sydney Convicts A v LA Rebellion
San Francisco Fog v Manchester Village Spartans

Brave Prediction
Sydney Convicts title defence is on target.
Brisbane Hustlers, Kings Cross Steelers (ENG) seem to be shaping up as the main threats.


Keep up to date on Twitter with #binghamcup and @BinghamCup2014.


Phil Hardcastle (33)
Just wanted to add my two cents here and say that I find the whole idea of the Bingham Cup, it's origins as described by the Fly and the general ethos around this approach to be utterly amazing. As someone who, like many of us, first experienced the rugby culture in the boarding school environment it is sometimes hard to believe it can be such an inclusive sport. Fantastic and thanks for keeping on the updates Mr Jarse.

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
I'm just happy that someone is reading what i am posting. I've kind of hogged the thread so far.

It's just like the Golden Oldies concept. People travelling great distances for rugby. The skill level may not be too flash but at the end of the day not too many pople worry too much about the score because there are things more important than winning.

There is no doubting the passion for the game and commitment to the Rugby ethos. The game/tournament is a simply a catalyst for fun and camaraderie.

It is a little unfortunate that the weather has not been too good for the participants, but I reckon that there are a stack of slightly unfit (and possibly hung over) piggies playing that are thanking their deity that the Princesses with double digits on their backs are being slowed down by the heavy conditions underfoot.


High Profile Spectators: (L-R) Former Wallabies captain John Eales, Labor’s Anthony Albanese, Federal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, President Bingham Cup Andrew Purchase.

Pic Source:http://www.buzzfeed.com/markdistefano/gay-rugby-pulls-politicians?sub=3431945_3704372


Peter Fenwicke (45)
Hugh I think I speak for everyone when I say no one minds you hogging the thread we're enjoying your posts and the pictures you put up. I love reading people who are passionate about rugby and the Bingham Cup encapsulates all that is great about our sport.

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Some more about the impact of Mark Bingham on gay and inclusive rugby.

At the time of Mark Bingham’s tragic death, only six gay and inclusive rugby clubs existed worldwide. Two of those were co-founded by Mark. Today there are almost 60 clubs. The Bingham Cup is the global event that promotes rugby union as an inclusive non-discriminatory sport.
The first Bingham Cup was held in San Francisco in 2002, and events since have been held in London, New York, Dublin, Minneapolis and Manchester. 2014 sees the Bingham Cup held on Australian shores for the first time.

Past Bingham Cup winners:
2002 – San Francisco Fog
2004 – San Francisco Fog
2006 – Sydney Convicts A
2008 – Sydney Convicts A
2010 – Gotham Knights
2012 – Sydney Convicts A

Victorian Vox Pops

Melbourne Chargers’ Captain Iain Abbott:
“I have never played against people from other countries before, so it makes it a little more special to represent your Club, your state and your country. We’re a competitive side, and we completely inclusive; it’s not a gay team in my mind, it’s just a Rugby team that happens to have a bunch of gay guys in it. We’re a band of brothers like any Rugby team, and we will protect each and every one of our teammates on the field.”

Charges Front Rower Andrew Fitisemanu:
“I have only been in Melbourne just over a year, having originally moved from Wellington, and I really enjoy playing for the Chargers, .. …My teammates are a good bunch of blokes, and there’s plenty of Rugby experience in the team. We have done a lot of preparation for this tournament, and have a strong forward pack and quality backline. We have a bit of an underdog tag around the tournament, but I feel we will definitely put up a big show.”

Ash Unicomb, grew up in Newcastle and joined the Melbourne Chargers two years ago:

“I am really looking forward to playing the Sydney Convicts in our first game; for the last ten years, they have been one of the favourites for this tournament, so that’s a great game to really challenge us and see where we are at. … … However, the game that I am most looking forward to is on Saturday morning when my dad John comes down from Newcastle to watch me play for the first time in ten years; that’s really exciting.”


The Volunteers at Sydney Olympics 2000, and World Catholic Youth Day got better wet weather gear, but it's smiles all round.

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member

"The Rugby Player" was shown on ABC2 on Wednesday 20th August, 8.30pm

What does it take to be a hero? Explores the lives of Mark Bingham, one of the passengers of United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, and his remarkable mother Alice Hoagland and her ongoing advocacy for LGBT rights.

If you missed it, The Rugby Player is only available on ABC iView until 9:30pm on 3 September 2014. (Not available for streaming outside Australia)

More Information From: http://www.gayrugbyclubs.com/the-rugby-player-film/

Connect with the Film
• Visit the film website — www.therugbyplayerfilm.com
• Like THE RUGBY PLAYER on Facebook — TheRugbyPlayerFilm
• Follow THE RUGBY PLAYER on Twitter — @rugbyplayerfilm
• Make a tax-deductible charitable donation to support THE RUGBY PLAYER — bonafidefilms.org

How Can I Get My Own Copy?
Purchase your deluxe, collector’s edition DVD of THE RUGBY PLAYER — signed by Mark’s mom, Alice Hoagland, and Director Scott Gracheff and containing special DVD extras found nowhere else. Anticipated delivery date is December 2014, dependent upon the film’s meeting theatrical and broadcast milestones.

Be first in line to own a personal copy of THE RUGBY PLAYER and support the film’s progress around the world! A portion of the profits from the pre-sales will support the Mark Bingham Foundation and the work of Alice Hoagland.

Order your deluxe DVD today for $35, and you will receive a confirmation number and instructions on how to claim your DVD when the delivery announcement is made. Price includes shipping within the Continental U.S. as well as California state sales tax.
You can also order the official movie poster for THE RUGBY PLAYER (11×17 inches, full colour, on sturdy poster stock) for $20. Makes a great holiday gift!

Order online at http://www.therugbyplayerfilm.com/store

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member

ABC 7:30 report on the Bingham Cup.


Click link above for video and transcript.

4:21 in the video. Adam Freier playing hooker for the Melbourne Chargers. Wow.

STEVE THORNE: I've definitely been asked, "Why do you need a gay rugby team?" And I suppose the only thing to say is it's not about people like Charlie or I. We've crossed that bridge. It's about particularly kids out there who are going through that tough time. So having more role models out there can only help. ...

... I'm pretty close mates with James, who's vice captain of the team. James moved down from Brisbane. He didn't like it up there, he was having a bit of a rough time.

JAMES SAUNDERS, SYDNEY CONVICTS: I kind of felt a bit lost. Steve, he gave me a lot of direction. He really helped me out just talking about things - coming out, 'cause I was only new to coming out. Told me things within the gay community. And I never thought I'd play rugby again when I got out of high school 'cause I knew that I was gay and I wanted to come out, so for there to be a tournament like this, it really meant a lot.

In other news:

Pretty miserable conditions yesterday (for backs :))

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
NZ Falcons vs Brisbane Hustlers


Day 2 Pool Play Results
Sydney Convicts B defeated Royal Bucks by 46 - 0
Kings Cross Steelers B defeated Muddy Armada Berzerkers by 30 - 0
Amsterdam Lowlanders defeated Southern USA Ba Bas by 12 - 0
Melbourne Chargers B defeated Hustler Australian Ba Bas by 10 - 5
Melbourne Chargers A defeated Chicago Dragons by 38 - 0
Brisbane Hustlers defeated New Zealand Falcons by 24 - 14
Emerald Valkyries defeated Ottawa Wolves by 43 - 0
West Coast Phever defeated Philadelphia Gryphons by 12 - 10
Sydney Convicts C defeated Boston Ironsides by 22 - 10
Kings Cross Steelers A defeated Gotham Knights 24 - 0
Sydney Convicts A defeated LA Rebellion 33 - 0
San Francisco Fog defeated Manchester Village Spartans 13 - 3

Games to come on Day 2 are QF

Try time for Melbourne Chargers

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Nirvana: Mud, Rugby, and Beer


Final Pool Game for the Convicts A (vs LA Rebellion). We won 33 - 0.:)


Check out the Referee Conflict Resolver. Kings Cross Steelers 24 vs Gotham Knights 0

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member

After Pool Play the following are undefeated in Tier 1:
Sydney Convicts A
Brisbane Hustlers
Kings Cross Steelers A

All on 9 points, having dropped a game, but with a good chance of glory are:
Melbourne Chargers A
San Francisco Fog
Sydney Convicts B

The Draw gets quite complicated now as the teams split into Hoagland Cup/Vase and Bingham Cup/Plate/Bowl/Shield competitions, similar to the Hong Kong 7s format.


Keep up to date on Twitter with #binghamcup and @BinghamCup2014