I love my footy. I love my rugby. Rugby Union that is. None of this league rubbish thank you very much! So imagine my delight when my darling husband came home with tickets to the Hong Kong Sevens Rugby. Getting tickets isn’t easy, but some of his mates at work were able to get some at reasonable prices (thanks boys if you ever read this).
The weather was great – not too hot, not too cold, so out came my All Blacks jersey – the short sleeved one – and off we went. The kids got to spend the day at home as it wasn’t the kind of event you would want your children to hang around given the events reputation as something of a beer-fest. We met a group of people outside the front of the Hong Kong Stadium at 9 am. I couldn’t stop spinning around and staring at the sights around us. I was here to watch footy, but obviously the majority of people who go to this event do so for the fun. Male cheerleaders, Tiggers, 1970’s tennis players, british police, fire brigade… most people were dressed up for the occasion.
We got inside around 9.30 am and made our way to the south stand – which was full by 10.30/11 am with so much colour and sound and beer it wasn’t funny. One guy in front of us (dressed as a convict) had polished off something like 5 litres of beer by 10.30 am. It was insane.
Despite the vast quantities of beer and the intense mixing of various nationalities it was a truly jovial occasion. Everyone was laughing and cheering, singing and talking. It was genuinely fun.
You might be able to notice that the stands behind Wally… er… Titus in that second photo there are packed. It really was a good turn out, and has to be the most ex-pats I’ve ever seen in any location.
The New Zealand team were great to watch of course. They came away thrashing the French in style. What I really liked about the NZ team though was the fact they hung around after their match to sign autographs and talk to the screaming groupies around the ground. They stopped to talk to kids and left a great impression with everyone. At the end of the day, the came home second overall.
The colour was great. The atmosphere was fabulous. The matches were often hard to see for the hooliganism in front of us, but all in good sportsmanship and fun. However, the highlight of the day for me were the costumes. The effort some people put in was amazing. If I could have given a prize for best getup it would have gone to this guy:
He is either incredibly brave, or incredibly stupid… but his costume gets top marks!