The Best of the Hong Kong Sevens
HK Magazine reported on the three-day rugby event live from the legendary South Stand—here's what we loved.
The Hong Kong Sevens storm hit the city over the weekend and our staff was live at the games from the rowdy South Stand, where we met revelers and rugby fans from all over the world.
MORE: Find our live coverage of the weekend on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Here are the highlights of our weekend at Hong Kong Stadium.
—Evelyn Lok, Editor:
“Right about 7:40am as we stepped into the South Stand on Saturday morning we caught a glimpse of a really well done Thor, a la Chris Hemsworth man-bun. We made a mental note to find him again later but sadly lost him in the crowd. Is there a missed connections type thing for the Sevens?
We managed to snag a row up top, which we later observed to be the slightly more civilized part of the South Stand: that the lower down you are, the greater the ratchetness and amount of spilt beer. We sat behind a huge group of girls dressed up in matching white wedding gowns—our first thought was that they were just a group of desperate singles playing off of desperate singledom at the 7s, but we were wrong. The five-plus girlfriends (the others were off for a beer run) were actually all getting married in the coming weeks, and whose fiancés were all dressed up in Zebra onesies. And that’s a statistical anomaly in Hong Kong, seeing as we’ve got a shortage of men.
In between a line of Street Fighter cosplayers and a group of angry-looking, chain-smoking French eggplants (smiling costumes no less), was the French Fur Coat Guy. This guy had the chillest costume on Saturday, who calmly tried to joke with us that ‘it’s going to be minus 30 later today,’ while sweat beads rolled down his forehead. No update on whether he took his coat off by the end of Saturday. We hope he did.
As we ventured down the stands to get a closer look at Hasselhoff about to perform, we met a roughly 30-wide group of airmen (the floppy balloons they have in front of used car dealerships) who wobbled for a photo for us. They also pitched their upcoming restaurant opening for us to cover while that was happening—if you’re reading this and still keen, email us at [email protected].”
—Adam White, Senior Editor:
“On Sunday morning, the South Stand is slow to fill up: Everyone’s obviously nursing a killer hangover. It doesn’t help that the sky’s gone an ominous black, and no amount of free plastic raincoats can keep the water away when the heavens open, black-rainstorm-style, at 10:30am. The water floods down the steps and most of the South Stand gives up to head indoors in search of beer that’s not getting diluted. But a few of the most insane South Standers hold out, having decided that no amount of water will keep them from their natural ways. They rage against the elements, dancing through the storm: And when Mother Nature gives up, they’re still partying hard as the rest of the South Stand makes its sheepish way back to the stadium, knowing that it’ll never be that hardcore.
Later in the day one of the many Duff Men sits with his back to the stadium as a woman slaps him, hard, on the face. He reels and comes back for more, as the crowd yells ‘one more time!’ over and over again. He greets the final matches catatonic and spread across two rows, his fellow Duff Men hauling him out the way like a sack of potatoes whenever he becomes inconvenient. Also big this year: mock Trump supporters, or at least we hope they’re mock Trump supporters. The ‘Make America Great Again’ baseball caps are out in force—although most of them seem to be Aussies.
The Hong Kong team plays a phenomenal match in the qualifier final against old nemesis Japan, but they can’t quite pull it out of the bag. The crowd is behind them every step of the way.”
—Xavier Ng, Editor:
“Here’s a big shout out to the guys and girls with beer and Pimm’s trays at the stadium for keeping us hydrated (and drunk) through the three-day madness that was the Sevens. It’s definitely not an easy job, with the horrible downpour on Sunday, the sweaty crowd constantly screaming in your ears asking for more and more beer—and, getting hit on inappropriately by guys in obscene costumes.
But, you pulled it off all three days with a bright smile. Carlsberg’s Maisy didn’t mind the craziness and enjoyed working over the Sevens weekend. ‘I’ve been working here all three days. Today [Sunday] is a bit quiet though, because of the weather. Yesterday was a lot more fun,’ she said cheerfully.
When asked about the worst thing she’s seen at South Stand, she said: ‘It’s people peeing in beer cups and kicking them around like footballs.’ Maisy, thanks for putting up with them. You guys are the best.”
—Jessica Wei, Writer:
“One doesn’t have to be a fan of the sport itself to enjoy the atmosphere around thousands of people from all around the world, gathered together to celebrate the patriotic women and men who run down a field and take a pounding in the process, all in the name of national pride. You wouldn’t feel it in the South Stand, where a group of men in Duffman suits were too drunk to care about the game, falling over each other and simulating intercourse with an inflatable crocodile one has lovingly named ‘Michelle.’
Beyond the frat boy universe, true silence exists in the lead-up to a winning goal; fans of all ages donned the flags of their countries on their backs, put an arm around one another and sing in unison their national anthem with pure enthusiasm. In this wide blue yonder, you could almost pretend that the world itself was on that field and afterwards, we could just get back up, brush the dirt from our shoulders and walk away in the spirit of good sportsmanship.
Children are watching their heroes on that field, but you know what keeps those guys going? The real Best of the Hong Kong Sevens: The fans.”