Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hong Kong Rugby Sevens 2013

     If you're anything like I was a month ago then you haven't the slightest clue as to what Rugby Sevens is.  After talking to a British expert on the subject, my current understanding is that there is such a sport as 7 v. 7 rugby that takes place on a field larger than a soccer field and has two 7-minute halves.  Some people prefer it because it really shows the athleticism of the players since there is so much space and you've got to move the ball a long way to score.  These teams travel around the world and play in weekend tournaments nearly all year-long and they tally up points to have an overall winner for the year.  One of those tournaments takes place in Hong Kong every year and it's apparently a popular event for both the expats that live here and out-of-town guests.

     We scored tickets to the first games of the pool play on Friday night through our school so I pretty much had to go and see what all of the fuss was about.  Basically they run through these games so fast with literally only enough time in-between to get the next two teams out there, that you can barely get up to use the bathroom or get something to eat (if you plan on catching all of the action anyways).  On that note, it seems that a lot of people that attend don't care much about the rugby at all.  Instead, they hang out next to the concession stands to drink at tables and watch the games on little tv's.  Alternatively, you can join one end of the stadium which is the only section that allows alcohol in the stands.  Apparently you have to dress up in a ridiculous costume with a group of people if you plan on sitting there though.

Hong Kong Stadium (I think that's the name) - it was pleasant with the open air and city skyline just outside (let's face it, EVERYWHERE in HK has a skyline)

the alcohol section, featuring this group of Angry Birds

A little action shot from the nosebleed section with Portugal vs. Scotland

back to the alcohol section, with a group of nuns

apparently the U.S. does have a rugby sevens team.  they played quite well all weekend, but fell short to Kenya, New Zealand, France, and embarassingly.......Hong Kong.  They did knock off Scotland, however.



We came with a Scot, and Englishman, a South African, and an American - and none of our teams won on Friday night!

One of the marquee teams was the New Zealand "All-Blacks" squad.  They were very impressive, I must say.

     Friday night was the perfect amount of rugby for me.  I really enjoyed the action and surprisingly, there were several scores in all of the matches despite the short game time.  I cannot, however, imagine coming for the Saturday games that go from 9am until 9pm or something along those lines.  Some die-hards even come for the championship and consolation matches on Sunday.  I'll definitely do my best to come to this again next year.

--Justin
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