I have only ever gone to an actual rugby match once. It was in the Wesley Stadium in Dublin and the Leinster B team played. Embarrassing as it sounds, the reason my flatmate and I had decided to go, other than we had both never been to a match and enjoyed watching the game, our washroom in our house was out of order so it also meant that there was a bathroom. So we wore Leinster Colours and hunkered down in our seats to enjoy the match. I don’t even remember the outcome of the game, I remember that I loved watching it and was shocked at how loud the sound of the scrum and the tackles were though . Oh and Brian O’Driscoll was sitting behind us. Our little excitement for the day.
In Sydney, I was asking a travel agent about getting cheap theatre tickets when he said “what about going to see a Rugby Match?” The next day the Sydney Rabbitahs and the Melbourne Storms were playing in the Olympic Stadium. Not exactly theatre but in some ways very much the same.
As with most cities, for large events they push public transportation to and from the event. In Sydney when you buy your rugby ticket, at least in advance, it includes your transportation costs – bus and train to the Olympic Stadium which is a fantastic idea. It makes it so much easier in so many ways and reduces traffic in the surrounding area. For someone who lived very close to The Wesley Stadium and the RDS in Dublin and saw the traffic and parking – Dublin City, just a thought – worth looking into.
As I didn’t know either of the teams but I was staying in Sydney I decided that I should support the Rabbitahs. I had read the odds before the match and they didn’t look too promising for the Sydney team but I have always liked cheering for the underdog unless it’s my home team so they got my vote for this game. Unfortunately the predictions were right. They were over taken from the start. They had a few surges of energy and hopefulness but it didn’t bode well for the Rabbitahs and by the second half we were all kind of thinking this could only go one way.
I also learned that there was a difference between Union and League matches. I didn’t have a clue what the guys had all been talking about at the hostel. When we were watching the match during the first half I was so confused why they kept rolling the ball back, or not having real scrums or doing touch starts. It was like watching tag rugby and the rugby I am used to mixed together and then someone explained it to me. We were watching a league match and what Ireland or England play is Union.
Considering we had bought cheap tickets and last minute our seats weren’t actually that bad. We sat almost behind the try line for the first half. I enjoyed watching children and grown men scurry down the seats during a kick or conversion to see if they could catch the ball. For the second half as there were loads of free seats we moved slightly to the right so that we had a better side view of the pitch and were a bit more in the action. This unfortunately led us into the middle of the Melbourne Support, which from what I have seen at Rugby matches is never a problem, but there were a few people who were a tad bit over zealous and I quietly cheered on my support from my seat.
The game ended with a win for the Melbourne Storms and while the game wasn’t the most exciting one I have ever seen; the graphic images of the team urging the crowd on, holding a hot chocolate in the stands on a cold night, the company and supposedly the hot dogs still made it a worthwhile outing for sure! Not to mention I now know I prefer union games to league ones. You learn something new every day.