So this particular edition of the blog will consist of photographs. A few of the photographs have me in them but most were shot by me using a random camera. Thanks to the guy who let me borrow it!
The tournament was awesome. It was amazing fun. There's nothing else to say really, it was superb in every aspect.
The first day was horrific weather-wise; it forced me and one other guy to hide under a tarpaulin (alas I don't have any photographs of that) for about five hours, as our team slowly left the stand. With about three hours to go it was just us sitting there, with practically the whole stand empty. Needless to say I was freezing, but it was still immense fun.
Anyway, onto the pictures!
So the pictures are randomised. I managed to nab pictures with pretty much the whole team. There were a couple of guys taking pictures, so I'm always looking in the wrong direction. I'm also pulling stupid faces in half of them.
This little guy cried whenever I looked at him, which was unfortunate because I was sitting next to him and his dad.
This was during the after-party on the Sunday night. Who is that in the banana outfit?
This tall ginger guy was a definite fan favourite. On a rugby note: he gave the team huge amounts of ground and was a great source of momentum. Definitely a good 7's player with a work-rate that belies his height and weight.
So this photograph is actually on the Tokyo 7's facebook page. The guy on my left owns the camera I was using. He's also Australian, which is unfortunate considering the outcome of the competition.
No idea who this guy is.
A lot of the 7's players are tiny, speed and nifty footwork being prized on the circuit. They still have to tackle guys who are pushing 110 kg's though, and they're all shifting at a phenomenal pace.
Another stupid face, another really nice English player. A lot of the americans were dicks, but the other teams generally stood out as being genuinely nice, engaging with everyone they came across.
Dan Norton was on my radar prior to this event, as was the no-show Gollings. They're both supremely talented 7's players, I was lucky to snag this picture with him.
On the Saturday there were about five people in my stand, so it was completely quiet. I was running up and down the length of the field screaming at these guys - I was loud enough to be sure that they heard me, and I made a couple of them smile. In no other stop of the tournament would this have been possible, a massive reason why it was so much fun.
This is the first of a sequence. The eagle-eyed among you might well recognise this kick (assuming you watched the final on TV). It's the kick that clinched the game, with seconds left on the clock.
The Fijians have massive support wherever they go, which is amazing considering the island is so tiny. They're mad for 7's.
Two of the american guys on our team, being typical americans.
Some more of the England team. Despite looking drunk or stoned or something, I was actually completely sober. Nary a drink passed my lips on the Sunday (during the rugby).
One of the american players who was actually willing to stop for a photo.
This was right at the end, after Oz had won the final. They were a really friendly group (it probably helps that they'd just won) who didn't mind the hideous slime green jerseys.
One of our guys is painfully Welsh, and he's somehow convinced his wife to deck out in Welsh gear too. Luckily they were knocked out early so we didn't have to listen to any of his nonsense.
Another one of the 4th placed England team. At the risk of repeating myself - they're all bloody nice guys.
This is quite possibly the second in the winning dropkick. I didn't take these ones, by the way.
Natsu is our club treasurer, or organiser or something. He also plays, and is one of the biggest Japanese guys I've seen play the sport.
This is Oz pushing for the final score.
The South African on the right let me stay round his house for the whole weekend, which is awesome obviously. This was taken on the Saturday, so the weather is atrocious. It was blowing an absolute gale, and it rained for hours.
Some of the Welsh players doing the lap of honour. They were knocked out early on the Sunday, so there weren't many people asking for autographs or asking for pictures. Plus, it's Wales, a niche market at best.
My nose is massive. like an eagles beak or something.
Alistair is the club captain. Bi-lingual with an eye for style, taste and elegance (I'm not trying to suck up to him because he's captain, honest). He also let's me stay round his house if needs be, which is nice of him.
This is the South African, sporting a fetching pink shirt. Shame about the glasses though.
Another shot with Dan Norton. A player of pure class.
We're nearly at the end of this line of photographs. Nearly there...
So this Yoko Ono was there on both Saturday and Sunday. She was absolutely hammered. Completely wasted.
There's nothing more to say about her really, beyond being a terrible drunkard.
I think this is the last one. It's interesting to see where his arms are when he's kicking, I can't imagine that's a particularly stable kicking position.
He's got the biggest neck muscles I've ever seen.
I had to include this one because he reckons the cap was on. Lies.
The guy on the right is a Croatian mafia kingpin, the guy on the left is his hitman. Inconspicuous.
This guy often plays fly-half for our team, and despite only being 5 foot nothing tall, tends to get through some defensive work. I've never seen him without a smile either, which leads me to suspect that he's a crazed murderer.
Another one of Dan Norton. Once again, a great player.
The team probably felt pretty disappointed at being dismantled by the aussies.
It wasn't the last one. I think this one is actually the first picture, him testing the bounce of the ball.
Every cup winning player gets a tankard and a black eye.
Alistair telling the referee off.
This is quite early on the Saturday, look at the thousands of people who aren't in the stands. By about three O'clock it was just the two of us there.
The guy in the blue hair was a complete nutter, too.
There were a few England supporters in the crowd, this guy was one of them. He was a rare England supporter in that he didn't have a massive beer gut.
This guy was one of the Welsh players, again knocked out nice and early so there was plenty of time to take a photo.
This guy stayed with me right till the bitter end on Saturday. We were both shivering, and I couldn't feel anything below my knees.
It must be strange to see someone outside of Wales supporting the Welsh team.
This guy got the players player of the year award for the season. He plays at flanker (I think) and gets around the field on attack and defence. There's nothing else to add, really.
I think this is after Wales won a match. I can't tell whether that's delight or surprise.
This is on the Sunday night, banana suit and all.
I was going for a sense of scale (this guy is the biggest England player, and he's not that big) but he's signing an undersized kids ball; so it didn't really work.
D.J. Forbes is a fan favourite, despite being a massive dick. It's strange, because the players everyone likes generally tend to be the flashy try scorers, but this guy does a ton of hard graft and unseen work.
And that's it. I'm waiting to see if any more photos turn up, if they do I'll put them up too.