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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Seven Expert Tips to Remember If You're Going to the Sydney 7s for the First Time

Including who to cheer for and how to make the most of your visit.
By Marissa Ciampi
January 09, 2020
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Seven Expert Tips to Remember If You're Going to the Sydney 7s for the First Time

Including who to cheer for and how to make the most of your visit.
By Marissa Ciampi
January 09, 2020
  shares

in partnership with

For Rugby fans, the most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner. The HSBC Sydney 7s is returning for another jam-packed weekend of high-energy rugby matches across Saturday, February 1 and Sunday, February 2. And these two full days of action aren't only dedicated to the sport — the yearly event also features a mini music festival, heaps of group party packages and plenty of chances to score free prizes.

This year, 28 of the world's best international men's and women's Rugby Sevens teams will go head-to-head to be crowned the tournament champions. For those who are new to Rugby Sevens and are heading to the tournament for the first time, we've put together a full guide of everything you need to know before you go — from the rules of the game to transport and outfit tips. Yep, we've got you covered.

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Destination NSW

FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET THERE AND BACK

This year, the HSBC Sydney 7s tournament is taking place at Parramatta's Bankwest Stadium. And heading west from the city is made easier than ever for the event thanks to free trains. All you have to do is show your tournament ticket and your travel to and from the stadium on the Sydney Metro trains won't cost you a dime. If you're unsure of the best route, check out the NSW Trip Planner. Gates open at 9am on Saturday and 8.15am on Sunday, so we recommend getting in early to make the most of it.

Of course, you'll have to start by purchasing your tickets. Single-day passes start at $42 and weekend passes at $70 — both include entry into the stadium and festival tent. To purchase tickets, head over here.

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Rugby AU Media

DON YOUR BEST FANCY DRESS COSTUME

Accompanying the high-voltage rugby each year is one helluva costume party. Excessive fancy dress by the tournament's punters is a crucial part of the weekend. This year comes without a theme, so you can run in any direction you fancy. Unicorns, neon, pirates or disco balls? All acceptable. Or do you want to simply show the maximum amount of spirit by dressing head-to-toe in your favourite team's colours? That works, too.

The more creative and sillier the outfit the better. Just remember, it's 2020 and cultural appropriation isn't cool. And be sure to wear something comfortable that you'll want to hang out, drink in and dance in all day and night — especially the dancing bit, as there are live music performances happening all weekend long.

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Rugby AU Media

MAKE A DAY OF IT WITH YOUR WHOLE CREW

Getting the whole crew together is part of the fun of Sevens. For those on a budget, keep in mind that all food and non-alcoholic bevvies are allowed into the stadium with you — so you don't have to break the bank to head along. Groups looking for a bit more of a celebration have plenty of ways to indulge, too. The weekend's hospitality packages include Field Club tickets, which include platinum seats just metres from the field on level one. With these passes, you'll also score all-day access to the indoor hospitality facilities, where you can purchase food and booze that you cannot get outside of this zone.

Or you can take it to the next level with Social Club passes. Tickets include allocated covered seating on level two and direct access to the air-conditioned lounge. An all-day buffet, open bar (including wine and beer), exclusive merchandise and prize draws are all on the docket, too.

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Rugby AU Media

BECOME AN EXPERT ON THE GAME

If you're new to the sport, it's best to come along with a bit of knowledge of the game. For starters, the tournament is a battle between 28 of the world's best international men's and women's Sevens teams. As you may have guessed, each team is seven-a-side. In each round, two teams go head-to-head in a 14-minute match (made up of two seven-minute halves). In this sport, it's all about entertainment, and the game is designed to ensure scoring happens quickly, with a try scored roughly every 70 seconds.

To get a bit more technical, here are a few more rules to get you started:

  • Try — Players can only pass the ball backwards or kick the ball to move downfield with the aim being to get over the opposition's tryline at the other end of the field. A try is worth five points.
  • Converted Try — After every try, the scoring team attempts a conversion drop-kick through the upright posts, which earns two more points.
  • Drop Goal and Penalty Kick — Teams can also score three points with a drop goal or a penalty kicked between the goal posts (although these are both quite rare in Rugby Sevens).
  • Return Serve — After each score, the scoring team kicks off to the opposition to make sure the other team has an equal opportunity to return serve.

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Rugby AU Media

PICK THE RIGHT TEAMS TO CHEER FOR

Rugby Sevens is played by teams all over the world, and they come together each year for this epic tournament in Sydney. While, as Sydneysiders, it may seem like the obvious choice to root for the Australian teams, there are other top contenders to keep an eye out — and even save a few cheers — for.

The Aussie teams have a lot to prove this time around — at last year's Sydney tournament both the men's and women's teams lost their 2018 titles to New Zealand. And, so far in the 2019-20 season, New Zealand is ranked first in both men's and women's standings. While the Australian men's team is currently sitting at eighth on the list, the women's team is holding a close second. The Aussie women's team has also already qualified for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, so is especially one to watch for that reason alone.

The winning team of the men's 2018-19 Sevens series was Fiji, so be sure to keep your eye on that team, too. South Africa and United States are also up there, and Kenya is always a popular one to watch. Full team standings can be viewed here. After leaving Sydney, the tournament will move through LA, Vancouver, Hong Kong and Singapore before ending in Europe in May.

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Maurice Longbottom / Rugby AU Media

KEEP AN EYE ON THESE UP-AND-COMING STAR PLAYERS

We mean it when we say that Rugby Sevens is a fast game — with an average of just 70 seconds between each try, it's easy to miss big moments if you aren't paying attention. To make it a little easier, we suggest focusing on a few key players that'll be sure to impress. Australian players to watch include Ellia Green and Emma Tonegato on the women's team and Maurice Longbottom and Lewis Holland on the men's. Other top contenders include New Zealand's Michaela Blyde and Ngarohi Mcgarvey-Black, South Africa's Rosko Specman and USA's Alev Kelter, Perry Baker, Carlin Isles and Danny Barrett. For more stats and player details, head here.

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Rugby AU Media

THERE'S MORE TO THE DAY THAN JUST RUGBY

While all of that action-packed rugby will have you busy, the day is about way more than just sport. For starters, the weekend features its very own music festival, which will host live acts for two days straight. Headliners include homegrown DJ talent like LDRU, Tigerlily and Yolanda Be Cool, with heaps of supporting acts on the docket, too. And, on Sunday, you can expect the festival area to feature multicultural performances. Head here for more details.

Also on offer across the stadium are karaoke, dance and kiss cams and on-field challenges, plus face painting for those looking to take their fancy dress to the next level. Plenty of food trucks will be onsite serving up barbecue, fried chicken, pizzas, burgers and specialty coffees. Basically, it's an all-out party no matter which way you look.

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To purchase tickets to HSBC Sydney 7s, visit Ticketek, and for event updates follow @Aussie7s on Instagram. Then, find more ways to make the most of your weekend below. 

Top image: Rugby AU Media.

Published on January 09, 2020 by Marissa Ciampi

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