- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 112 Hour
- Reading permission
This post was edited by Cicci at 2012-3-21 10:23|
It's the most anticipated sporting event of the year, with good reason. Seven good reasons, in fact ..
Hong Kong's Tom McQueen scores against Wales at the Hong Kong Sevens 2010.
The Hong Kong Rugby Sevens 2012 will take place this weekend, March 23-25. It is one of the few world-class international events to make it to this sports-starved part of the world. And fans make sure it counts.
Tickets to Hong Kong Rugby Sevens always sell out within hours because the rugby action on the pitch is excellent and the partying off-pitch is crazy, especially in the notorious South Stand.
Here are some of the things Sevens fans look forward to each year.
Hong Kong Sevens 2012, March 23-25 at the Hong Kong Stadium, www.hksevens.com.
1. Watching England loseThe action on the pitch is first-class. Best things about it: watching Australia lose, watching England lose, watching the Pacific Island nations like Fiji and Samoa turn it on.
This year, the rules have changed so that it will double as a qualification tournament of sorts. The 24 teams will be split into two 12-team tournaments. This ensures that the 12 strongest teams will not be playing the 12 weaker teams, so you won't see the All Blacks crushing Guyana 140-0.
Some like the balls, some like the men holding the balls.
2. Strapping unitsSome of the most eye-catching athletes in the world will be here for the Hong Kong Sevens, hurtling up and down the field like a pack of excited adolescent tigers.
Check them out at "Hot rugby players: The real winners of the Hong Kong Sevens" to see what we're talking about.
Or catch Hip Hong Kong's Flickr photostream from Hong Kong charity events that the Italian team stripped for.
They love watching rugby too.
3. Street walker fashion OKWhere else can you wear that full body lycra suit that highlights your perfect physique without causing a sex riot? The costume displays in the Hong Kong Stadium's South Stand are so bizarre, you would fit in.
The usual suspects for costume choice are Spartans, Greek gods in togas, Mario Brothers. The best costume of the weekend headlines the South China Morning Post.
This year it will be Kim Jong Il.
4. An excuse not to be cheapHong Kong Rugby Sevens doesn't just attract drunks. In 2010, the event brought in US$30 million from the 21,000-odd overseas spectators alone. That doesn't even count the locals' spending. All this makes Hong Kong business owners true fans of the event too.
"During the weekend, we expect to sell 2,000 hamburgers, 1,500 hot dogs, 1,200 meat pies and 1,000 curries per day at the Sevens Village," caterer Brian Parfitt told The Standard.
The event is also a huge awareness campaign for sports and tourism, as the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union gets to drum up support for local grassroots rugby development.
And if you think about it, the combination of hot dogs, fancy dress, and outdoor sports makes the Hong Kong Sevens quite a family-friendly affair. Despite the South Stand.
The South Stand gets rowdy, but never rude.
5. Polite drunksThere are few other sporting events in the world where the combination of vast quantities of alcohol, males and sport does not end in senseless violence and stupidity. The Hong Kong Rugby Sevens only has its fair share of fun stupidity.
The players are also on their best behavior on and off the field. If only we could say that about all athletes.
Celebratory hakka by the New Zealand team after winning in 2011.
6. Pioneer sportThe Hong Kong Rugby Sevens were one of the first rugby union tournaments to attract major commercial sponsorship when Cathay Pacific sponsored the very first Sevens in 1976.
The event, which is older than the Rugby World Cup, has sped up the modernisation of rugby unions. It also gives an exotic touch to rugby, with non-traditional rugby playing countries showcasing their best.
Today, the Sevens is also known as a place to launch the careers of promising rugby stars. International Rugby Hall of Fame inductee Jonah Lomu debuted at the 1994 Hong Kong Rugby Sevens.
7. More drinking than usualThe South Stand party continues outside of the stadium:
Soho: A mix of local and expats will hang out here trying to get away from the tourists. The vibe will be only slightly more chilled out than the other party zones.
Lan Kwai Fong: Full on. Combination of tourists, Billboard Top 100 cover bands, lychee martinis and rows of shots.
Wanchai: Anything goes in Wanchai. By far the most popular after-party district. Tourists, under-18s looking for cheap drinks, 50-somethings looking for cheap dates, as well as everyone looking to really let their hair down.
The players celebrate with a dinner after the tournament, and anyone not competing the following week will be out with their supporters.