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Author Topic: Rugby "Sevens" Tournament in Las Vegas  (Read 531 times)

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Tejano Jawg

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Rugby "Sevens" Tournament in Las Vegas
« on: March 06, 2018, 06:46:54 pm »

I went this weekend. By the way, I saw a dude walk by me on the plane—Dallas to Vegas—wearing a Razorback shirt (but I wasn't in a position to yell.) Was that any of you?

I knew nothing about rugby, nor had I even watched more than a few seconds at a time on TV. And certainly had never heard of Sevens. But a former high school friend/U of A roommate wanted to go, so I met him there. It was fantastic. The way Sevens works—7 players per side, two 7-minute halves.

16 teams were from South Africa, New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji, Spain, Kenya, England, Scotland, Wales, etc…and USA. Las Vegas has hosted the American leg of world tournaments for over 10 years. Others locations this year include Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Sydney, Vancouver. And USA won the whole thing (big upset), beating Argentina in the final match.

The speed of the game is swift—games are really about 20 minutes long. The action, especially by the top 6 or 8 teams, is spectacular. Since one of my favorite Arkansas offenses was when Ron Calcagni ran the option veer—pitching to Ben Cowins and Jerry Eckwood—this Sevens rugby is about 85-90% about the pitch. There are the long cross-field laterals, but it's most exciting when a player breaks through and is cruising down the field, then before he's tackled, pitches (sometimes a 'no-look') to a trailing player for a score.

The rugby-going crowd is great and fun to talk to. Some come in costume (clowns, pirates, fruit, furry animals), others in 'native' gear—plenty of folks from Scotland wore their kilts. And the national pride is strong—I enjoyed a beautiful woman cheering on Kenya a couple rows in front of me, wearing blue jeans and a tight red 'Kenya' t-shirt, standing up dancing the entire game every time they played. And naturally a lot of faces painted with flags.

The USA team had a couple players who looked like (slightly shorter) lumberjacks, others like linebackers, and one like an NFL wide receiver. Probably because one of our guys, Perry Baker, was a former WR (for the Philadelphia Eagles). Here's an article about the team's win, but check out the mind-blowing video of a Baker score—
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2018/mar/05/perry-baker-usa-sevens-las-vegas-eagles-arc-uruguay

This event comes to Vegas about this time every year. Or you can look up other international cities on the tour. I would highly recommend this.

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NoogaHog

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Re: Rugby "Sevens" Tournament in Las Vegas
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2018, 10:38:54 am »

Yeah, Rugby sevens is fun to watch. I have never seen it live but have watched on TV when I come across it and made a point to watch it during the Rio Olympics 2 years ago. Those Aussie women were amazing, beating everyone 50-0. I would love for it to get more of a stronghold here in the US.

Speed is the name of that game, and that is something that the US teams seem to have a lot of, with some former college WRs in the mix. Carlin Isles is supposed to be one of the fastest rugby players in the world. Much more fun to watch than Rugby 15s.

I'll have to look and see if there is some to watch around here.
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NoogaHog

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Re: Rugby "Sevens" Tournament in Las Vegas
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2018, 01:48:13 pm »

Since I saw your post, I watched the US semifinal and final games on watchESPN from the Las Vegas tourney. Wow, that is a lot of speed! Perry Baker and Carlin Isles on the field together at the end. They had no answer. And Danny Barrett is too dang big (6'2" 220) to be that fast. I'll bet that was a blast to see live.
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Tejano Jawg

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Re: Rugby "Sevens" Tournament in Las Vegas
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2018, 02:08:15 pm »

Yeah, Rugby sevens is fun to watch. I have never seen it live but have watched on TV when I come across it and made a point to watch it during the Rio Olympics 2 years ago. Those Aussie women were amazing, beating everyone 50-0. I would love for it to get more of a stronghold here in the US.

Speed is the name of that game, and that is something that the US teams seem to have a lot of, with some former college WRs in the mix. Carlin Isles is supposed to be one of the fastest rugby players in the world. Much more fun to watch than Rugby 15s.

I'll have to look and see if there is some to watch around here.

What part of the country are you in? Sounds like rugby is extending its reach.

It's hard to say how this would translate to TV, because it's so quick at times. Guess the broadcast director in the booth better be on his toes. They had a video board in the stadium with a live wide-angle feed, and would show replays. Looked pretty cool.

Talking to knowledgeable rugby people before, during and after matches was great, and one of my favorite things about this—getting some strategy and rules explained, etc. One guy said something interesting. Since the field this tournament was on (UNLV's football stadium) was 10 meters too narrow, it allowed some of the teams with less speed to contend. Like Argentina, the team we played in the finals—no super speed guys, but were excellent tacklers. There were a lot of guys on that team who just looked like regular dudes, as opposed to Fiji or Samoa, who looked like gods.

I'll bet that was a blast to see live.

I couldn't have been more surprised at how much fun the whole thing was, the atmosphere, the fans. But the games were amazing. Truly, if you blink you might miss something. I was in awe. And I'll want to keep this in mind in the future. I wish I had time to travel more. Vancouver in a few weeks would be terrific.
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NoogaHog

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Re: Rugby "Sevens" Tournament in Las Vegas
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2018, 02:21:38 pm »

I'm in North Georgia outside Chattanooga, TN. Within a couple of hours of Atlanta, Nashville, Birmingham, and Knoxville. Chattanooga is a southern city, but can have a very hipster Austin/Boulder kinda feel to it (lots of outdoors activities, lots of live music, arts, festivals, etc.). So if Sevens can grab the hipster/Millennial crowd like soccer did several years ago, it will get a foothold here.
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4Lions04

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Re: Rugby "Sevens" Tournament in Las Vegas
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2018, 10:27:29 am »

I think it is fun to watch, the only problem is that I don't understand much of it. I had a friend that played and she couldn't really explain the rules to me. It's hard to have a great appreciation for any sport if you can't understand what is going on.
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NoogaHog

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Re: Rugby "Sevens" Tournament in Las Vegas
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2018, 11:09:04 am »

This is a good start: Rugby Sevens explained

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhmj72KBRTY
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Tejano Jawg

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Re: Rugby "Sevens" Tournament in Las Vegas
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2018, 01:41:14 am »

I think it is fun to watch, the only problem is that I don't understand much of it. I had a friend that played and she couldn't really explain the rules to me. It's hard to have a great appreciation for any sport if you can't understand what is going on.

I get it. There were things I knew about in rugby, just having seen a little, but I didn't really know what everything meant. We had a guy who sat near us, who was a former player. We'd ask questions about what we were seeing. Some we didn't get around to, I was okay not knowing…it was actually kinda fun not understanding a couple details. I got the main stuff.

Here's the biggest one—the ball has to move laterally or behind you, unless you kick it. For example, if a pass comes to you and you miss it, it can't bounce off your chest forward before it hits the ground (play will stop), it has to go behind you. After that, go score.

I don't know how 7-man differs from 15-man.
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Mo_Better_Hogs

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Re: Rugby "Sevens" Tournament in Las Vegas
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2018, 12:36:54 am »

First, I've never heard of rugby sevens until now. Since I have some time on my hands, I've been watching some videos from these tournaments. It looks super fun, and dude, that Perry guy is amazing. My first thought was why doesn't some NFL team look at that guy, then remembered he's already been there and done that. What a player. Good stuff here.
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NoogaHog

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Re: Rugby "Sevens" Tournament in Las Vegas
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2018, 03:42:53 pm »


I don't know how 7-man differs from 15-man.

SPEED!

There are less than half the players on the same size field. More room to move around and more open area. Rugby 15 games are 80(?) minutes of clock time and take 2-3 hours to play. Sevens are two 7 minute halves. Much more running and less scrums and slogging.

A lot more exciting to watch.

The US may not have the most skilled team, but between Perry and Isles, they have more speed than any team in the world. 
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MountainHomeHogger

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Re: Rugby "Sevens" Tournament in Las Vegas
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2018, 08:55:46 am »

I played pro coming out of HS! Played mainly 15's some 7's! 
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Tejano Jawg

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Re: Rugby "Sevens" Tournament in Las Vegas
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2018, 03:18:53 pm »

SPEED!

There are less than half the players on the same size field. More room to move around and more open area. Rugby 15 games are 80(?) minutes of clock time and take 2-3 hours to play. Sevens are two 7 minute halves. Much more running and less scrums and slogging.

A lot more exciting to watch.

The US may not have the most skilled team, but between Perry and Isles, they have more speed than any team in the world. 

Right. The friend who took me to this Sevens Tourney has been talking to some of his New York rugby buddies (who played both 15s and 7s) since we were there. While it's obvious, I didn't really think about it until he said the same thing. With HALF the number of players on the field, there's a lot of open space to run. Simple as that.

The way these really great teams get down the field is amazing. That's where this 7s rugby looked like something I can relate to—our football. Hard running and tackle breaking, or pitching to open guys streaking down the sideline.

Regarding the 'rules', are there any significant differences between 15s and 7s? (Other than the time.)
« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 10:12:39 pm by Tejano Jawg »
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NoogaHog

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Re: Rugby "Sevens" Tournament in Las Vegas
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2018, 01:40:16 pm »

Regarding the 'rules', are there any significant differences between 15s and 7s? (Other than the time.)

I am no expert, but the video I linked above does a good job of explaining it and also the differences between 7s, 15s, and American football.

If you really want to go down a YouTube rabbit hole, the guy who does that video also has several videos explaining 15's (League and Union), Aussie rules, and even American football from a British point of view (i.e. how it differs from rugby)
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NoogaHog

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Re: Rugby "Sevens" Tournament in Las Vegas
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2018, 01:41:44 pm »

I played pro coming out of HS! Played mainly 15's some 7's!

That's great! I think we would be interested in your input. The entirety of my Rugby knowledge comes from watching the Rio Olympics, YouTube, and the Googles. If you played, especially professionally, you are automatically our leader.

Think of it! You are now Mayor of the rugby thread! ;D
« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 01:56:49 pm by NoogaHog »
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Re: Rugby "Sevens" Tournament in Las Vegas
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2018, 04:03:23 pm »

I played a little bit of club Rugby in college. Love it. Have even gone to South Africa and watched a couple of games.
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Großer Kriegschwein

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Re: Rugby "Sevens" Tournament in Las Vegas
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2018, 06:54:46 pm »

I watch it on TV regularly. About the only European sport I can watch.
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Tejano Jawg

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Re: Rugby "Sevens" Tournament in Las Vegas
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2018, 10:56:25 am »

Posting some pics, just for fun.

The first one is me in a New Zealand jersey I bought off ebay right before I went to LV. As I said, I knew zero about rugby/rugby sevens, so I figured there was a danger walking around sporting the colors of such a historic team. And I was right…as soon as I got in the line to the stadium shuttle, I was called out by several people from Scotland. Talking to all the rugby fans, like these people, was almost my favorite part of the entire trip. The next time I wore the jersey, as soon as I stepped off the elevator I got a "go All Blacks" from a hot girl with a hot accent.
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Tejano Jawg

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Re: Rugby "Sevens" Tournament in Las Vegas
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2018, 09:33:43 am »

A few more shots—rugby fans and 'old' downtown Las Vegas.
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Pig in the Pokey

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Re: Rugby "Sevens" Tournament in Las Vegas
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2018, 10:52:19 am »

You have discovered my shizz. Perry Baker, baby. And Bigdaddy Barrett.
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