Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Record crowds turned out for the penultimate leg of the HSBC IRB Sevens World Series in London, with Twickenham bathed in sunshine for a fantastic weekend of top quality rugby action.
The first day of the event brought in a crowd of 54,357, a record in the 12 year history of the series. Fancy dress, beer, and the occasional streaker were the order of the day.
New Zealand did enough to be crowned outright series champions after hosts England failed to get out of their group, winning just one of their Pool games. New Zealand themselves were disappointing, being knocked out in a heavy defeat by Fiji, but their ninth series win reasserts their overall dominance since the series' inception.
Fiji impressed throughout, but coming up against South Africa in the final, they blew a 14 point lead as the men in green and gold fought back to outwit the larger opposition, and take a 24-14 win, their first in London since 2005.
Cecil Afrika was as inspirational as ever, and continues to lead the try scoring records for the season. It was the relatively unknown Stephen Hunt though who proved invaluable as he pulled off a brilliant try saving tackle late in the game, then scored the winner.
South Africa are now up to third on the overall standings with one leg to go, the 100th event in World Series history, which takes place in Edinburgh this coming weekend.
The following three videos give you a nice general view of the tournament, including what led up to the final, the final itself, Seven of the Best tries from the tournament, and a video that shows some of the record breaking crowd on day one.