All go for second referees sevens

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Referees Sevens organiser James Symes is promising another fun, fantastic day.

The second Referees Sevens event will be held at Whitestone Contracting Stadium on November 25.

It will feature 14 teams (up from 12 last year).

Canterbury, Otago (both two teams), North Otago, South Canterbury, Mid Canterbury and the sure-to-entertain Canterbury Fijians contest the men’s draw, and Otago, Canterbury (both two teams), North Otago-South Canterbury combined and Southland are in the women’s competition.

A day of frenetic sevens action will culminate in men’s and women’s finals from about 5.30pm.

“It’s a family-friendly event, like a carnival day.,” Symes said.

“You don’t have to love rugby. There will be music playing, food to eat – just come along and have fun.”

Getting the Canterbury teams was a bit of a coup, Symes said, and would raise the overall level of the on-field action.

Launching new sports events is always a risk, but Symes – the chairman of the North Otago Rugby Referees Association – was delighted with the inaugural sevens and confident the second tournament would be even better.

“It was really successful last year. People who went last year have raved about it.

“Being our first one, we really concentrated on making the sevens good without concentrating too much on the corporate side of it. Now we’ve been able to lift the corporate side of it, so we’ll have more tents this year, and it’s been easier to sell.

“Last year, we had to work hard to get the teams here. This year, they’ve all confirmed early.

“They want to be here. It’s a really good chance for them to warm up for regional events.”

The only change Symes wanted to see this year was better weather in the week leading up to the tournament.

The inaugural sevens took place under clear skies but heavy rain during the week forced organisers to bring out carpets to lay over wet ground around the corporate tents.

The Referees Sevens tournament, sponsored by Redpaths Waitaki and Professionals Van Schreven Real Estate, starts at 10.30am on November 25. Entry is by gold coin donation.