One of the primary goals of the Pittsburgh Forge Rugby Club is to expand the sport of rugby to a new audience. We do this in a variety of ways, but one of our favorite events is our yearly 7’s exposé at during halftime of a Pittsburgh Riverhound’s soccer match at beautiful Highmark Stadium. It gives us a great venue to display rugby to several thousand soccer fans.
This year, our fans were seated in the Riverhound’s “Supporter Section” which provides a real soccer fan experience. We enjoyed cheering along the Riverhound die-hards singing songs, shouting chants, and distracting the other club’s goalie. The fan section then offered similar support to our guys as they took field leading cheers on the bass drum.
As part of the halftime entertainment, our men’s side played an intra-squad 7-on-7 scrimmage refereed by our own Derek Neubauer. It was an exciting display of rugby 7’s to a new crowd who was bustling with energy. Playing under the lights at such a gorgeous venue is a fun experience for our players which keeps us coming back every year. Rugby 7’s has gained greater exposure to a mainstream audience with the recent Rugby World Cup 7’s in San Francisco and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. We hope we can continue doing our part in growing the game in our own area with events like this one.
Thank you to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Front Office for continuing our partnership each year and providing us with such an amazing opportunity – see yinz next season!