SAN FRANCISCO — Solely at sevens is the motion on the pitch equalled by the leisure within the stands.

The expression “solely at sevens” is usually used as a catch-all response to the colorful, uncommon and visually compelling expertise at a rugby sevens match, whether or not it is beneath the lights in Hong Kong or in a horse barn in Truro, N.S.

On the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco, each carnival-esque facet of this sport is amplified.

Followers from around the globe flocked to the Bay Space this weekend to see rugby sevens’ showcase occasion — and everyone seems to be dressed to impress.

The acquainted red-and white Maple Leaf is a typical sight across the ballpark, however so is the inexperienced and gold of South Africa’s vaunted Blitzboks. Star-spangled house followers mingle with Mexican supporters in sombreros and pose with English redcoats, and everyone seems to be smiling.

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Nods to the host metropolis had been additionally sprinkled all through the crowds, with followers in pinstripes paying homage to the notorious Alcatraz (no phrase on whether or not the now-defunct island jail acquired a minimize of the free publicity.)

There are noisemakers and foam fingers, painted faces and lengthy traces for the loos and beer carts. Whereas all of these are par for the course at any sporting occasion, how usually do you discover a dozen Canadians in matching kilts?

When requested about coping with temperatures over 25 C on a cloudless day, one of many Canucks replied “it breaths from the underside.”

Solely at sevens, proper?

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‘Particular’ surroundings at World Cup

Regardless of the excessive stakes,  the ambiance on the match stays amicable and welcoming, one thing that Montreal’s Marge Thompson says is exclusive to rugby sevens.

“The entry it’s a must to the athletes is actually cool,” Thompson mentioned after posing with fellow Canadian Lee Bieber and Rookie, the U.S. rugby mascot.

“It is actually particular,” Lee added, describing Thursday night time’s welcoming ceremony in a downtown plaza the place the gamers mingled with throngs of followers earlier than being known as up on stage.

Marge Thompson, left, and Lee Bieber, proper, know that you do not go up the chance to pose with an enormous eagle mascot. (Benjamin Blum/CBC Sports activities)

The crowds had been initially sparse since Friday’s matches started at 10 a.m. native time, however they had been no much less engaged. Followers started to fill the bleachers because the day progressed, with large roars echoing via the picturesque ballpark following the Irish girls’s upset of England and seemingly after each American strive.

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To not be outdone, Eire’s males’s staff elicited a rousing ovation following their last-second attempt to defeat Chile.

There are sure to be extra heroes and goats on the pitch because the match progresses to the later rounds. However because it stands, the followers and whoever shares their wardrobes have already made this World Cup memorable.

Then once more, that is only a sevens factor.


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