Murrayfield and rain are synonymous with The Edinburgh Blog venturing to Scotland’s national rugby stadium. Other plans prevented my attendance on the sun soaked Saturday of this year’s International Rugby Sevens tournament. I made it on Sunday, but unfortunately a six hour long torrential downpour put a dampener on the day. Nonetheless the International Rugby Sevens provided a hugely entertaining and great value for money day out. New Zealand ended Sunday as Edinburgh champions and also collected the IRB Sevens World Series title, after a very successful season.
We bought a ¬£15 day ticket from the Roseburn Street ticket office and a programme for ¬£3. A steady stream of people were making their way into Murrayfield and we found the lower tier of the East stand very busy. Later in the day the upper tier was also opened. Despite there being more people in the East stand the stage where winners were crowned and losers commiserated was built to face the West stand. On the pitches behind the West stand a ‘Festival of Rugby’ was taking place, which included International Women’s 7s and a warm up pitch. The Calcutta Cup was also on show. Disappointingly the heavy rain meant I and many others never visited the ‘Festival’.
I’m sure beer sales (Tennants ¬£3.50 a plastic pint) were negatively affected by the adverse weather. There were some ‘fun’ loving Australians and New Zealanders who wore wet suits and slid down the muddy embankments, wore t-shirts stating “Blonde’s are not Bimbo’s’ and donned wigs. The doughnut food van was doing a roaring trade and soon exhausted their supply of hot drinks. Healthy food options were in short supply so I succumbed to burger and chips.
Anyhow none of the matches were real classics, which is partly attributable to the very difficult conditions caused by the rain. Towards the end of the day each time a player hit the ground there was a huge splash. Also the players’ boots were sinking into the Murrayfield pitch. Home crowd hopes ended early in the day when Scotland were put out of the Cup competition by New Zealand with a thumping 36-14 scoreline. Scotland made it through to the Plate final after a tense and exciting 19-14 victory against Fiji in extra-time (team who scores first in extra time wins). This was a good achievement considering Fiji finished fourth overall in the IRB 7s standings and are one of the most exciting 7s teams. Unfortunately the Scots were second best in the Plate final and lost out to South Africa 14-5.
England had earlier beaten South Africa 10-0 in the quarter final Cup after a superb first half performance and a scoreless second half. It was an all British affair in the semi-final Cup where England beat Wales 7-0 in a lacklustre match. The Cup Final saw New Zealand triumph over England, with three quick first half tries setting England too high a target.
Kenya were perhaps the comical highlight of the day, unless you count Moldova’s constant thrashings which I classed as more sombre. Kenya’s performance in the semi-final shield was quite comical as their mishandling, including an unfortunate fumble just yards from the try line, resulted in a 7-0 loss to Russia. Still the loud and colourful Kenyan fans in the West stand were not deterred and the Kenyan team did a lap of honour. Infact the laps of honour were an highlight of the day, with the French team sliding on their stomachs along the Murrayfield pitch infront of applauding fans.
Overall the International Rugby Sevens tournament really is a great day out, it’s just a shame the weather didn’t play its part on Sunday. I look forward to next years tournament! For more photos see flickr.
There were lots of advertisements at Murrayfield for the following events:
- Hibernian vs Barcelona, Thursday 24th July. A pre season football match. This follows on from last years friendly against Hearts. Adult tickets are ¬£35/¬£30/¬£25.
- Heineken Cup Final 2009. 23rd/24th May 2009. Adult tickets are ¬£25/¬£40/¬£60
- Autumn tests. Scotland versus New Zealand (8th November 2008), South Africa (15th November 2008) and Canada (22nd November 2008).
- 2009 Six Nations tickets. Scotland versus Wales (8th February 2009), Italy (28th February 2009) and Ireland (14th March 2009)
Tickets for all the events are on sale now and available from Scottish Rugby.