Photo credit: Mike Lee – KLC fotos for World Rugby.
Much like the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the 2019 Cape Town Sevens has smashed its own record for the most yellow cards. A total of 34 yellow cards were dished out across the men’s matches over the weekend.
Fiji also notched up the unfortunate individual record of most yellow cards by a single team. They have the bronze medal match still to play, but collected six yellow cards, one more than their previous record of five.
It looked certain from day one that this edition of the Cape Town Sevens would break new ground when 11 yellow cards dished out in just eight men’s matches.
Teams played just one match each on Friday but Australia, Fiji and Samoa all earned themselves two cards apiece. Argentina, England, Ireland, South Africa and the USA sit on one each.
The South African leg of the World Series Sevens moved to Cape Town in the 2016-17 season, so records are still in their infancy, but such trends in unravelling discipline is always noticeable.
Most yellow cards at the Cape Town Sevens by year
It’s also the first time since the tournament moved to the Mother City that it is being played across three days with both the men’s and women’s matches taking place alongside each other.
The 2018 edition previously held the record for most yellow cards with 27, but this year’s tournament is already almost halfway there and there’s still two rounds of pool games and finals day to come.
Fiji’s five yellow cards at last year’s tournament is the highest for any team at the event.
Most yellow cards by team at the Cape Town Sevens
The first edition of the Cape Sevens had 21 yellow cards over the weekend with England’s four the most of all the teams that weekend. The total yellows across the weekend increased to 23 the following year before taking a little dip back down to just 19 in the 2017-18 season. Last year though, the junket set the record with 27 yellow cards issued – Fiji with five getting in trouble most often.
Antoinette is a recovering journalist, having written for Sports Illustrated, The Guardian, Daily Maverick and others. She has won multiple SAB Journalist of the Year awards, across a variety of categories. She thinks it’s strange writing about herself in the third person, unless she’s playing as herself in The Sims…which she’s been doing for over 20 years.