IRB Sevens – Nelson Mandela Bay
The first moment I heard Port Elizabeth was hosting the Seven’s Rugby Tournament I knew I had to get my hands on some tickets. For a few weeks they were my prized possessions and I was counting down the days. The moment i walked into the stadium (on Saturday), I could feel the atmosphere of the 20 000 strong supporters vibrating through the air. I got there just in time see the Blitz Bokke warm up. Most of the crowd were decked out in Bok green and gold, so naturally when the Bokke came running onto the field the crowd erupted into chanting.
France was obviously no match for Cecil Afrika (who won Sport Elizabeth sportsman of the year award and IRB Sevens player of the year) with a special mention to Branco Du Preez. Entertainment came in the form of Ready D on the decks and some lacklustre cheerleaders that couldn’t keep a one, two count going; performing the same moves over and over (what no flips or splits). Most of the crowd didn’t seem interested in the other games besides when the Bokke played. In the second game they played Samoa, who were really sore losers, picking a fight in the dying moments of the game.
It would only be fitting that South Africa would play against arch rivals New Zealand in the Cup Final. The tension was palpable as the game started, everybody waiting to see who would draw first blood. In the last moment South Africa ahead by two points the siren rang out as New Zealand broke the heart of every Bok supporter in the country. Sadly, I have to admit my naartjie ways because as soon as that player put the ball down behind the line I was already making my way toward the exit.
It doesn’t sit in every girl’s loins to brave beer bellied, beer guzzling ballies, but I got to boo Australia up-close (which was highlight of my day). All in all Nelson Mandela Bay hosted an awesome tournament and will definitely be going next year.