KRF 2022-How Did The Post COVID Tournament Go?

The Krakow Rugby Festival was on hold for 2 years in alliance with the pandemic safety regulations which saw the suspension of travel and close personal contact between people to stem contagion was a huge success in June 2022, with returning teams and new faces that descended on Poland’s, past capital city, Krakow for a glorious weekend of international rugby 10s for the men and women’s 7s plus the sport’s social aspects which are almost as important as playing the game itself.

The KRF 2022 was honoured to have the KRF 2019 champions returning to defend their title and this time the Mighty Bovs from Edinburgh brought their club women’s team, however the competition had strong opposition and the men’s Bovs took a proud 3rd place, winners of the KRF Elite Plate final but the female Bovs 7s were worthy winners of the KRF Champions Cup. Newcomers, The Sky Captains from Yorkshire and another returning team, Edinburgh University, fought it out for the KRF 2022 Champions Cup with the Sky Captains crowned eventual winners for 2022.


The tournament also had the KRF 2018 Champions, Barrelhouse RFC from Dubai, UAE who are mostly S. Africans living there plus newcomers Hamilton’s Dynamiters from Cape Town, S.A. making their presence felt with a squad of 40 players with 2 teams, the Dynamiters Pups U35 and over 35s the Dynamiters Dogs. These 2 teams enjoyed a very competitive match between them. The KRF 2022 was rich in team rituals, on tour rules and antics which began with the Friday night induction party, greet and meet the teams with free flowing beer ‘n cider all night in an exclusive city centre club. Some more new faces to enjoy the KRF atmosphere were the London team, Old Guard RFC and from Bucharest, Romania the Arlecchini Bucaresti rugby team with both teams acquitting themselves honourably adding their rugby spirit and competing in the KRF Kracking Trophy category.


KRF Match Days, the format from previous years was maintained with group qualifiers on the Saturday and all finals on the Sunday that has 3 categories, Champions, Elite and Kracking. Depending on the team’s position in the Saturday group phase determines which category final you play on Sunday. The unlimited beer ‘n cider continues all day on match days from 10am until 6pm and you can even be nominated for the Best Drinkers Award too. The teams merrily sauntered up to the pitch-side bar filling up their crates with the cold, freshly brewed beer ‘n cider provided for the tournament. Breakfast and a cooked lunch was available to everyone and daily pitch transfers made for a magnificent weekend of rugby and a very long 3rd half which rugby enthusiasts expect and look for, this social aspect in rugby is as important as a key for a lock, one without the other is pointless. On the Sunday a few drinking and skill games are included with the extremely competitive Stretcher Race involving vodka, gherkins and beer, running and a bong brings a lot of laughs and craziness. The hallmark of the KRF is the unlimited beer ‘n cider during the entire tournament and The Slider, win a beer if you score a Slider Try. A huge tarpaulin is placed under the posts in the try area sprayed with water and baby oil to slip ‘n slide to glory. After the matches a complimentary Team Slider is welcomed.


KRF Officials, KRF 2022 was officiated by our stalwart supporters the Bristol Referees Association who came in a group of 4 plus a new local Krakow Ref eager to draw on their experience. The spirit in which they regulated the games continued to add the positive atmosphere.


Sunday Gala Dinner, The KRF 2022 Grand Gala Dinner in a city centre restaurant, exclusively for KRF teams devoured a feast fit for hungry props along with the continuous free flowing beer ‘n cider perpetually served by the waiting staff all night. The cups, plates and trophies were presented to the winners and a live band belted out some well known tunes in between the teams singing their club songs. Also, the 1st time tourers had to undergo the initiation ritual and court was held for tour rule offenders. All in all, the Gala Dinner rounded off the KRF 2022 with a fever pitch of excitement that was created on the Friday and grew and grew to end the tournament on an unforgettable high.


KRF Charity, As usual the KRF organisers invite a charity to raise funds and in 2022 the UNESCO Children’s Down Syndrome Society participated throughout the weekend and at the Gala Dinner all the competing teams brought an item to auction off. The rugby community, once again, showed their generosity and spirit of rugby by donating exaggerated sums of money to all the items offered much to the pleasure and surprise of the charity representatives.

The KRF is one of Europe’s most popular rugby tournaments for amateur sides of all levels or teams of rugby friends that get together in the summer off season. The KRF 2023 edition is already open for enrolment with an Early Bird Promotion if you register now. The info pack is available on request.