Teuila Fuatai

Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Sevens fans keep smiling

Thousands of fans turned out for the tournament. Photo / Getty Images
Thousands of fans turned out for the tournament. Photo / Getty Images

Hardy Sevens fans will be waking to sodden costumes and streaked face paint this morning after wet and windy weather at the tournament's final day.

By 7pm, more than 24,000 partygoers had made their way into Wellington's Westpac Stadium - with many adding waterproof ponchos and umbrellas over their costumes to try to stay dry.

Around 35,000 tickets were sold for yesterday to see New Zealand beat South Africa in the final by 21-0.

Relentless rain through the day had pushed most of the crowd into the upper parts of the stands, with only the bravest taking exposed seats down by the field.

Marcia and Dave Burgess made the trip from England for the tournament. Decked out in a Cookie Monster and Elmo outfit, the couple proudly supported England through the rain.

"We're from Plymouth, this is like liquid sunshine to us," Dave Burgess said.

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Marcia Burgess said the wet weather had put a dampener on day two but people were still enjoying themselves.

"Today's a lot quieter, but yesterday was awesome," she said.

Meanwhile, revellers keen to stay dry had packed out the stadium's concourse.

While many were happy to settle in, chow down on some fast food and enjoy the crowds, local Sam Brown was nearing the end of his Sevens outing. Brown has been to the two previous Wellington Sevens tournaments and said the rain had made a big difference to the atmosphere.

"It's just not the same, but still lots of fun. People are all over the stadium rather than right down in the crowds. "

Police and ambulance staff were kept busy with alcohol-related incidents towards the end of the tournament's first day but said yesterday evening people had been relatively well behaved.

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Evictions and those needing treatment were less than last year.

Inspector John Spence said discussions with stadium staff had resulted in better alcohol management than the previous day.

At the end of the first day, 160 people had been ejected and 10 arrested for bad behaviour.

By 9.30pm last night, about 100 people had been evicted from the stadium, according to a Wellington Sevens spokeswoman.

Wellington Free Ambulance spokesman Daniel Paul said staff treated 38 patients. Eleven were seen for intoxication and the rest for cuts, scrapes and bruises.

Last year 72 were treated. "It looks like it's going to be a quiet-ish night," Paul said.

"The rain has kept it relatively quiet, but also the alcohol rules have helped."

- APNZ

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