Rugby has always been my passion sport. Although I follow the Barclays Premier League religiously, it is more of watching quality matches; i.e. whenever the Big Four meet. But for rugby, it is different. I will watch if the basic skills are mastered by the players for a very fast flowing game. Even at local club level, I am intrigued. For example, the latest COBRA 10s tournament. The level may not be as high as the 7s game, but to see locals compete for the cup level is very heartening, indeed.
And the thing was, I only knew about it on Saturday morning 8am when I was having breakfast at Syed's Section 3 Shah Alam. I saw the news at the back of a newspaper while someone was reading it. Straight away, I finished my breakfast and went to Stadium MBPJ at Kelana Jaya.
On Saturday, the matches were the preliminaries, and the games were not very fast and engaging. The crowd was poor too. Around 20-30 paying supporters. Yeah, the ticket was RM10 for 2 days, with an RM5 meal voucher. On Sunday, the mood picked up, as the paying supporters reached the thousands. The atmosphere was good, a bit short of electrifying, though!
While enjoying the game, I snapped the action. One thing for sure, this enabled me to get closer to the action as the pictures recorded the gritty moments of the matches. And the weather was just superb for both good old-fashioned rough rugby and great action high quality photographs.
More pictures can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mfahrur/sets/72157608592357409/show/
Scenes off the field.
Action on the field.
Some stadium images.
*** Some technical info ***
All action images were captured with the E-3, HLD-4, ED35-100mm F2.0 lens & EC-14 teleconverter for further reach. In the morning, the sunlight was shining from behind; thus providing great illumination for my shots. I used A-priority mode to emphasize shallow depth-of-field to isolate the action from the background. Shutter speed was very high, at 1/1000s although ISO was ramped down to 100. White balance was set to "daylight", and color set to Natural with Contrast -1 (the sunlight provides very high contrast).
To my amazement, all of the images were very crisps (other than user error), and no post-process was done except for cropping and resizing.
The stadium scenes were captured by the ED14-35mm F2.0 SWD lens.