GOOD weather and the social side of tag rugby go hand in hand, with both pig and porter in such high demand that supplies nearly ran out at this year’s event in Old Crescent.
Luckily for organisers they had plentiful stocks to sate the public’s appetite, but with over 3,000 punters through the gate at the 12th Pig n’ Porter, it was a close run thing.
Over 120 teams registered to play in the annual event, the largest number in its history, and the overall numbers were also among the biggest yet seen in Rosbrien.
Organisers were blessed with good weather and declared the Pig n’ Porter a “huge success”.
“It went incredibly well and was a huge success, we are absolutely delighted and the weather really made it for us,” said Billy Breen, spokesperson.
Pigs-on-spits were being eaten as quickly as they could be cooked, while bar stocks ran very low before the event - held in a 9,000 square foot marquee - finished in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The event was graced by visits from returning Lions’ heroes Conor Murray, Simon Zebo and Rob Kearney, as well as their Irish counterparts Ian Madigan, Fergus McFadden and Dave Kearney, while a number of locally based players, including Damien Varley, kept the flag flying for Munster.
This year featured a number of firsts for the long-running event, including pig racing, with a special 80 metre race track set up on the main pitch, and an inaugural international tag test series between Ireland and Great Britain, competing for a British and Irish Cup.
The Irish team emerged victorious in the Friday night competition, which was watched by a large crowd who cheered home a representative side made up of male and female amateur tag players scouted from ITRA venues in Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Galway and Kildare.
The overall Pig n’ Porter event on Saturday was won by London-based team The Chargers, made up mostly of tag crazy Australians, who won their second crown in as many years having also prevailed last year.
As a large percentage of teams come from outside Limerick to take part in the competitive rugby event - the largest one day tag festival in the world - the knock-on effect will have a sizeable economic impact for hoteliers in the region, on an already busy weekend.
Sponsors again included Heinz Tomato Ketchup, along with Failte Ireland, as part of The Gathering.
Mr Breen paid tribute to the “hugely dedicated” team of people involved in running the event, who gave their time largely voluntarily and are primarily made up of thirds rugby players, who have been running the event since its inception.