New stadium the rave

New stadium the rave
Rugby teams from the blues of New Zealand (in blue) and Biarritz Olympique of France seen during the opening match of the international rugby 10s tournament at the new sports hub national stadium in Singapore.

The National Stadium re-opened its doors after a seven-year hiatus yesterday, welcoming some 8,918 spectators to the first day of the inaugural rugby World Club 10s event.

And the fans had plenty of praise for the architecture and aesthetic appeal of the 55,000-seat arena, which is the centrepiece of the $1.33 billion Singapore Sports Hub in Kallang.

Adrian Lim, a 42-year-old rugby fan who came with his six-year-old son, was blown away by how grand the stadium looks, both from the outside and within.

"It already looks majestic from the outside, but when you come inside, you realise how beautiful its modern look actually is," said Lim, who is self-employed.

Yvette DeKlerk, a South African maritime executive who arrived in Singapore for a work stint three weeks ago, praised the stadium's ventilation system, which circulates air under the seats and kept her cool throughout the day.

"I am still getting used to the humidity here, but the ventilation system at the stadium ensured that even I did not feel stuffy," said the 32-year-old.

While fans were finding it cool in the stands, they were cheering the fast-paced action on the pitch.

The loudest cheers went to the Samoa Water President's 10 team, who took off their jerseys and broke out into a impromptu rendition of their traditional Manu Siva Tau war dance. However, there were some concerns over the state of the pitch, which looked bare and covered in sand.

However, those concerns were dismissed by 2011 Rugby World Cup winner Piri Weepu, who helped his team, The Blues, to three victories on the pitch yesterday.

"The pitch is fine. Everyone's been able to run around the field and have fun," said the 30-year-old former All Black.

World 10s Plate & Cup s-finals (1.30pm), Finals & placings (5pm) - mio TV Ch114 & MediaCorp okto


This article was first published on June 22, 2014.
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