Saturday, March 18, 2006
Rugby Sevens in Melbourne
Excitement at the Rugby Sevens
New Zealand won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, England the silver, and Fiji the bronze. A disappointment, but as someone said, did they pick the right guys for the team?
To me the game is a mystery as I know Aussie Rules much better and rugby seems to be playing the man instead of the ball and my perception is that it is violent, the biggest guys knocking down the little guys.
But to each his own, and our lad arrived home after two full days watching the Rugby Sevens events of the Commonwealth Games, all excited about the fabulous atmosphere at Telstradome with thousands of Pacific Islanders from Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand, with flags, faces painted, and whether Fiji won or not, it was an experience to remember. A pig-hunter from Nadroga had the loudest whistle the stadium has ever heard, he told me. Practically the whole Fijian migrant community from Melbourne was there and everyone said 'Bula!' - many people mistaking my son later as one of the rugby players because he wore a Pacific top! His cousin from Sydney knew just about everyone in the rugby world as she's a champion girl rugby player! So they caught up with Islanders in some Pacific dive in the city later.
Well, my perception about rugby - when watching it on TV last night - was to worry when a huge Fijian (yes, a kind of relative) bumped an Australian player who hit the ground hard and had to be taken off on a stretcher with a head injury. The 50,000 spectators became silent for a few minutes. Fortunately this morning when Scott Fava awoke in hospital, saying 'What am I doing here?' he had the all-clear from the doctors, just a head-ache and a memory loss of the day before. It could have been much worse.
It reminded me of the time when our boys played in the Minnies - Aussie Rules - aged about eight to ten years old, and one of our boys hit the hard ground after being swung by his jumper in a spin. He had concussion and spent a night in the Hopetoun hospital, and doesn't remember that day!
Now the two days of Sevens is over we are looking forward to the athletics events next week. So far Australia is doing well, in the swimming, cycling, gymnastics, etc. as usual, and our National Anthem is getting a good go and I will soon be able to remember the words! We are renowned as a sports-mad people but that's better than being obsessed with ethnic-political rumblings.