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words by niall roeder
Hard and fast. That is Rugby Sevens in a nutshell. The tough as nails game is soaring in popularity since its Olympic debut and is set to smash into Wellington January 28 and 29.
For those not sure of what Rugby Sevens actually is, here’s a crash course. It abides by the same rules and is played on the same size field as normal rugby, but there are only seven players on each team and a game runs for only 15 minutes. The shorter time and numbers make for a hell of a lot more running space, a desperately fast rate of play with try’s scored about every 70 seconds.
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The frequent scoring makes for very entertaining rugby and the duration means you watch about 20 games in one day. The breaks between games are perfect for those with short attention spans, as well as the very thirsty. The players themselves are clearly a little cuckoo, running at and tackling each other with beast mode ferocity. They’re goose-stepping specialists with the skills of both an agile acrobat and a scary nightclub bouncer, like a Harlem Globetrotter/UFC fighter hybrid.
Despite Sevens becoming more of a household name, it doesn’t follow the rules of your average sporting event, oh no. Sevens Rugby is very noisy, very colourful and has much more of a party vibe than its 15 player cousin… in fact, Sevens has much more of a party vibe than most sports.
Besides the world class athleticism and amazing skill on display, the Wellington Sevens will have live music pumping, Food+Fizz alley to keep punters fed and lubricated, and droves of rowdy supporters dressed in the official Sevens’ spectators uniform – fancy dress. From nuns to Optimus Prime, Smurfs, Pamela Anderson and Alan from the Hangover, there’ll be every costume under the sun stumbling about, so be creative with your get up if you decide to go.
Wellington will play host to the Sevens series January 28 and 29.
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