Sevens: Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

22:12, Feb 07 2014
Wellington Sevens 2014
Sherwin Stowers dives in to score for the All Black Sevens.
Wellington Sevens 2014
Argentina's Anibal Panceyra Garrido takes on the USA defence.
Wellington Sevens 2014
Rhodri Davies of Wales makes a break against South Africa.
Wellington Sevens 2014
New Zealand's Ben Lam rides the tackle of a Fijian defender.
Wellington Sevens 2014
Emosi Mulevoro of Fiji dives over to score a try against New Zealand.
Wellington Sevens 2014
Kelly Meafua of Samoa scores tackled by Kenya's Biko Adema.
Wellington Sevens 2014
James Johnstone of Scotland runs in to score with Canada's Nanyak Dala in pursuit.
Wellington Sevens 2014
Head coach Simon Amor of England looks on during the Pool A match between England and Portugal.
New Zealand sevens
Burst of flames fire off behind the victorious New Zealand sevens team in Wellington.
New Zealand sevens
The New Zealand sevens team celebrate in the changing rooms after their Wellington Sevens final victory over South Africa.
New Zealand sevens
The victorious New Zealand sevens team perform a haka for the Wellington crowd.
DJ Forbes
New Zealand captain DJ Forbes with the Wellington Sevens trophy.
DJ Forbes
New Zealand captain DJ Forbes celebrates with the fans at Wellington Stadium.
Ben Lam
New Zealand's Ben Lam crosses next to the posts during the semifinal against England.
Sherwin Stowers
Sherwin Stowers has a disagreement with two England players during their semifinal.

It was cloudy, but it didn't rain until the meatballs showed up.

Wellingtonian Lulu Matthews and her five pasta-clad mates stopped to pose for photos outside Westpac Stadium when the skies let rip.

Thousands of soggy sevens fans streamed past, ready for the first day of Wellington's biggest costume party - oh, and the rugby tournament.

Wellington Sevens
The "Jarmy Army", from left, Dean Holland, Dene Cassin, Herb Bell and Jeff Geayley warm up for the sevens on the Wellington waterfront.
Wellington Sevens
Punters, from left, Paul Garrett, Jesse Garrett, Brian Martelletti, Marcus Garrett, Shane Hamnett and Randy Toone, plan to arrive at the Sevens on horseback.
Wellington Sevens
Back row from left, Robert Makene, Steve Burgess, Christine Paul, and front row from left Sapphire Martin and Maree Cheshire get ready to go.
Wellington Sevens
Ultimate sevens fan Waitangi Mika, centre, and the Doctours are ready for action.
Sevens pirates
Punters start their warm-up for the sevens. Pirates, from Auckland, from left, Caznae Raynes, Ashleigh Robinson, Connor Robinson, Carol Robinson and Phil Raynes.
Sevens
Bo Simkin, left, and Claire parkinson both from Eastbourne as super heroes.
Sevens
Grom left, Phil Watson, Colin Thackery, and Chris Hadley dress as the cast of The Hangover.
Sevens Bowman
Punters start their warm-up for the sevens. From left. Sarah Bowman, Sam Wallace and James L'estrange
Seven TMNT
Teenage Mutant Turtles Quinn Robb and Stefan Godman on Willis Street.
Sevens Tui cans
Sevens waterfront. Punters start their warm-up for the sevens. From left, Pete rathod, matt Lewis, hami Phillips, Andrew Cameron as Tui cans.
Wellington Sevens
Kurt Umbers and Hemi Hoskins are dressed as pop group LMFAO.
Wellington Sevens
Judy Brokenshire, Lyn Weir, Dale Thompson and Tracey Hall have been coming to the sevens for 14 years and counting.
Wellington Sevens
Cory Heather and James Scott as that perennial Sevens favourite, Speedo Cops.
Wellington Sevens
These guys escaped from jail just to join the celebrations.
Wellington Sevens
This group of lords and ladies seem dressed for a different kind of party altogether.
Wellington Sevens
Amy Brookes and Ben Fox were actually pretty easy to spot in their Where's Wally? costumes.
Wellington Sevens
Tongan Native Americans.
7s rocket man
Stan Asimopoulos as Mr Squiggish, the man from the Moon
7s crayfish
Punters dressed up at crayfish start their warm-up for the Sevens.
7s bananas
Banana in Pajamas get ready for the Sevens.
7s parkin
Costume catwalk founder Chris Parkin gets into the spirit of things.
7s peacocks
Peacocks Rosie Masters and Lizana Muir.
Wellington Sevens
The Canadians: Shea Martinm, Meredith Barrett-Jones, Arielle Martin and Briana Hungerford.
Wellington Sevens
Beauty queens Katie O'Loughlan, left, Stacey Craig, Ashleigh McCutcheon and Rachel Watson.
Wellington Sevens
Mad hatters Clint and Teresa McKenzie.
Wellington Sevens
Monopoly women Nicola Taylor, left, Helena Quinn, Jan Grindle and Chantal Fuhl.
Wellington Sevens
Norman Hemi, front, leads his wolf pack.
Wellington Sevens
Jamaican bob sled team Ryan Walker, Mike Barnett, Mitch Steele and Blair Williams.
Wellington Sevens
A gaggle of Billy T James'.
Wellington Sevens
A Christchurch Hangover 'wolfpack'.
Wellington Sevens
Hamilton cavemen and cavewomen.
Wellington Sevens
Wellington's Abigail Moir and Johnny Crothers as Ken and Barbie.
Wellington Sevens
Kevin Banaghan and 'gorilla'.
Wellington Sevens
Smudge McNeilage and the paua women.
Wellington Sevens
Minions from Auckland, Sophie Cameron, Morgan Smith and Larissa Pedersen.
Wellington Sevens
Scots Andre Hoggard, Caitlin Williams, Paige Kenning and Kit Bradley.
Wellington Sevens
Dennis Watling comes to the Sevens each year - for the rugby - and was prepared for the rain.
Wellington Sevens
A belly dancer is escorted out of Westpac Stadium.
Wellington Sevens
Richie Benaud fans Henry Cameron, left, Richie Ball and Choi Jackson.
Wellington Sevens
These fans got especially pixellated for the occasion.

The pasta bowls were one of the more elaborate costumes on show yesterday, with each dish taking four hours to whip together with wool and fabric. "We just got bundles and bundles of it and went large," Matthews said.

"But we could sit down; we made it so we could go to the bathroom - clearly that's a big point - and we could manoeuvre ourselves dancing."

Last year, the friends went as bathtubs, which did not go the distance.

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sevens pasta
CRAZY COSTUMES: Waterfront madness as costumed crowds gather before heading to the stadium.

"We got ripped apart by the public."

Earlier in the day, a scantily clad Ginger Spice - who refused to give his real name - rollerbladed along the waterfront to the cheers of hundreds of punters hanging from the balcony of Foxglove bar. Like several other men, he had grabbed the opportunity to wear visibly skimpy underwear.

"The g-banger came with the costume," Ginger said. "People sort of cheer and when they see me from behind they're like: Oh, oh god, I can't unsee that."

Nearby, a group from Nelson in elaborate gowns and dinner suits fanned themselves in the heat. "We're melting," Diane McFarlane said.

All the way from Mt Maunganui, four "Glitter Blacks" shone in silver coats and lashings of body glitter. It was their 14th sevens in a row, head glitter black Jody Brokenshire said.

And what kept them coming back?

"Perving at all the boys."

At 2pm, the stadium was mostly empty but when New Zealand kicked off against Fiji an hour later, seats were starting to fill up. However, most people barely seemed to notice when the home team went down 12-7.

One of the few who did, Dennis Watling, sat alone in the rain a couple of aisles from a row of monks. He has travelled from Kaikohe for the past nine years for the tournament.

"I've got a coat," he said. "I come here for the rugby."

Later in the day, a young woman in a sailor outfit giggled as blood streamed out of a gaping wound in her knee. She left a blood trail as she was helped to paramedics.

By 9pm, 15 revellers were being treated at Wellington Hospital, most for injuries from fighting rather than drunkenness, hospital spokesman Matt Paterson said.

Wellington Free Ambulance spokesman Daniel Paul said it had taken 20 people to hospital from Westpac Stadium, most of them to be treated for intoxication.

Police said ten people had been arrested at the stadium, where a "high level of intoxication" was seen, and 160 people were ejected.

Police said they were "disappointed with the alcohol management" at the stadium, and hoped both the stadium management and the public would make "a big improvement" tonight.

"The wristband system appeared to break down and many people consumed and purchased liquor contrary to the agreed procedure," police said.

The Dominion Post