Stadium masses put on their party best

MICHAEL FORBES, BLAIR ENSOR AND SAM BOYER
Last updated 05:00 02/02/2013
 Mark Shand and Katie Martinon
KEVIN STENT
ORIGINALITY: Marmite lovers seeing Mark Shand and Katie Martinon might have been forgiven for thinking their Marmite withdrawals had sparked a yeast spread-inspired hallucination.

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It's the capital's biggest party and it appears most of the invited guests at this year's Hertz Wellington Sevens were on their best behaviour.

By 7pm Friday night, police had ejected only 20 people from Westpac Stadium, which holds about 35,000.

Police praised the attitudes of those packing the ground, with those experiencing an early exit committing only "minor" indiscretions.

"It's just been for drunkenness and being a pain - not really passing the attitude test," Inspector Terry van Dillen said.

As it has been throughout its 14-year history, the sevens tournament has proved to be just as big a deal off the field as it is on it.

The 24-degree heat and sunshine were handy for those who showed up wearing not much more than a leaf and a loin cloth, but it also meant the afternoon crowd clogged up the stadium concourse as they craved shade.

"It's too hot out there and the beers are in here," Wayne Laulu of Strathmore said, summing up the feelings of many.

Most of the 30 people treated by Wellington Free Ambulance by 7.30pm last night were dehydrated, events co-ordinator Ross Weddell said.

"We've also had an increase in limb injuries this year - people jumping over things as they walk up to the stadium. We've had a fractured ankle and a few dislocated fingers."

But pleasingly, only four of those treated were alcohol-related, he said.

Those who had not fainted tried their hands at the fashion catwalk outside the main entrance in a bid to win some of the $25,000 on offer.

Among them was a group dressed as Care Bears, down from Hamilton for their third Sevens.

Getting their costumes into the country from China in time had been difficult, group member David Calder said.

"We had them sent to two properties. Probably they thought cocaine was in them."

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- The Dominion Post

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