Rugby Sevens! Now that’s a game the world should be watching. Definitely a sport not for the faint hearted, both on the pitch and in the stands.
Rugby Sevens is a fast-paced action packed game that has been winning fans all over since its inception. For the uninitiated, here’s a link to the definition, history and laws of the sport.
Those 7 minutes
Those 7 minutes on the field can be the longest and most intense period of your life if all you do is run around chasing down your opponents who seem to saunter past you like a proud peacock (with jet packs on their backs I might add) and just when you think you can afford to catch your breath, it’s time for another kick-off. I can vouch for that, I’ve been there. I’m still breathless.
Here’s a list of why I love this game.
The list is based on the positions in the Sevens game. However, do note that it is not in direct relation to the respective position jersey numbers.
Mad props must be given to the players of the game. These men and women have got to be one of the fittest athletes on this planet. In Rugby Sevens, there are literally half the number of players compared to the 15s game so chances are, you probably will be on first-name basis with every blade of grass on the pitch after you’re done. Added to that, as the format of a Sevens competition generally runs over a duration of 1 to 3 days, that means these guys will play more than one game per day at the same electrifying pace!
Equal mad props go out to the venues of the game as well. If you’ve never been to a Rugby Sevens game, you’re missing out. The electrifying atmosphere in the stands trickles down the bleachers all the way onto the field. Rugby fans know how to have a good time and enjoy their beloved sport.
Speaking of sport, Sevens fans have got to be one of the most sporting as well!
There will definitely be plenty of action on the pitch but much of the action also happen off-field! A Sevens tournament feels like a carnival with a host of activities including parades. Kids and adults alike can always expect an entertaining weekend when the Sevens come to town. The all-round party atmosphere is guaranteed to hook you in!
You don’t have to be a half-genius (or genius-half?) to understand that the object of the game is basically to run with the ball, avoid getting tackled and score. Sounds simple enough until you have the ball in your hands that is. Then, everyone from the opposite end is looking at you like you’re holding the last can of beer at a beer festival. The deft passes and blinding runs can leave you in awe. Missing them because you were in a beer-scrum with your mates can leave you in distress.
A typical international Rugby Sevens event brings people from across the globe. Not only is this international camaraderie paraded on the pitch, on the stands the fans from countries throughout the different continents and geographical locations can be seen in united support and love of the game. Some of the more fervent ones even fly to each venue on the World Rugby Sevens tour to lend their support to their countrymen on the pitch.
Each venue literally becomes the centre of the universe. As previously mentioned and in the example of international events like the World Rugby Sevens, fans from far across the globe converge and bond in their love for the sport.
But even on a local or district level, fans come together to enjoy the game and more often than not, end up making life-long friends along the way as well.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have been involved in one of the leg of the World Rugby Sevens Tour for two years as a Liaison Officer. Watching these guys from the stand as a fan can be inspiring no doubt but to be around them as they put it out in trainings is simply a blessing.
Photo: World Rugby
On the pitch, they are the consummate professionals who have the highest respect for every opponent. Off the field, they are without a doubt in my opinion, one of the most humble people that I’ve ever met.
The dedication, passion and hard work of the players, managers and everyone involved in the sport has made Rugby Sevens a sporting force to be reckon with. From time to time I would be watching a game on telly and a smile would form on my face as I spot a familiar face or two and my heart would be racing as they did back then. As it always will.
I love this game.