Under the Posts – #RWC7s Special Edition

A special edition this week as we recap our amazing time at the 2018 Rugby World Cup 7s tournament in San Francisco, CA. With over 100,000 fans coming through the stadium doors, the event was well run, the weather was fabulous and the rugby was intense!

Next week we’ll return to our regularly scheduled recap. Can’t wait a week? You can always join us on Twitter, Facebook page or Instagram (NEW) as we will be posting daily. Give us a shout!

Photo credit: Larry Young (Instagram: larrynyoung1)
Photo credit: Larry Young (Instagram: larrynyoung1)

The YSC team started our adventure in St. George, UT. Wait, WHAT? Yep, you read that right, we had to drop off our son in Utah to hang out with his grandparents for a few days. If you’ve never been to St. George, it’s an absolutely gorgeous city and if you don’t believe me, check out Wendy’s dad’s photos.

We spent a few days in Utah, hiking and seeing the sights. It’s a bit hot at this time of year so everything happens before or after sunrise. On Thursday evening we drove down to Las Vegas to catch our flight to San Francisco. The RWC 7s weekend had begun!

The weekend for the players always starts with the infamous captain’s photo. We love that World Rugby now does a joint photo and separate ones. Imagine the anticipation as you line up for a photo but all you really want to do is get on the pitch…

If you didn’t see the time lapse video of how Giants Stadium was transformed, take 61 seconds to watch it now!

There was so much buildup before the tournament with highlight reels, hype videos, player interviews…it was amazing. One of our favorites was a special on the Brazil women and their “flair.”

Fun to see the time zones and why the tournament kickoff time is so important!

The first match of the tournament ended with Fiji being upended by France. In fact most of the matches went as expected for those of us making predictions.

The first upset of the tournament was Ireland knocking out England 19-14! England struggled to connect while Ireland seemed to get more confident with every touch of the ball.

After the mornings matches the quarterfinals were set!

England redeemed themselves later in the day as they ran riot on Mexico beating them 59-0.

We had some interesting conversations on Twitter about expanding the HSBC Sevens Series. Of course there would be some upsets but teams that only play 1-2 International tournaments (or none) aren’t being exposed to the competition and don’t have the chance develop.

Even if we look at the top six teams they are widening the gap between the rest of the pack. Funding, expanded coaching staff and even some professional environments are making the chasm wider not closer.

And then day 1 was over (we stayed to watch the men’s matches). It was a whirlwind but we tromped the 1.5 miles back to our “scary hostel” and bedded down for the night. When you are funding your own rugby trips with donations and only a few sponsors you sometimes have to make the choice of staying at Market St. and 6th. 🙂

Day 2 came quickly and we left the “scary hostel” early to get some breakfast and get into the stadium.

Ireland wasn’t able to score two upsets as New Zealand looked clinical and scorched them 45-0.

On Day 2, Japan had an exciting upset as they kept Fiji under immense pressure. Their defense was intense and they kept the ball out of Fiji’s hands. A tremendous boost for Japan!

Russia also struggled on Day 2 and were missing Baz due to a shoulder injury. Ireland again looking strong with a phenomenal performance from Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe.

Canada also struggled this tournament as they had a swatch of newer players. Landry and co didn’t seem to have enough experience or speed around them to make any magic happen.

The women’s semi-finals only had one unexpected upset as France surprised Australia 19-12.

In the 3rd/4th match Australia faced a bolstered USA side who had nothing to lose. Australia stayed true to their form though and took home the Bronze medal.

And then it was time for the highly anticipated Cup Final between France and New Zealand. While the score line wasn’t what the audience wanted, the match was free flowing and very fast. New Zealand seemed to score at will and while France never got over the white line they were ferocious in defense.

Just like that…the weekend was over. We had sat in the sun watching rugby for a glorious three days. We saw old friends, made new friends and watched the best rugby on the planet. If you couldn’t make it this time around, start planning for the next RWC event. And don’t be naive and think that only the men’s events are worth going to, this event proved that women’s rugby is here, it’s fast, fun and just as intense.

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