Rugby League World Cup - Australia Vs England

Trip Start Jun 18, 2008
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Sunday, November 2, 2008

Flying into Melbourne, we were greeted with the rain and cold again.  We had to struggle with our overweight and uncomfortable bags through the city centre and out to suburbia, where we stayed with my long suffering Sister Carrie, and bro-in-law, Andy.

After a few days of lounging around, getting stuff cleaned, chucking out crap we really didn't need and having a bit more of a normal life, we hit Melbourne city centre to go watch the Rugby.

Rugby League World cup 2008 - Australia Vs England.

Approaching the Telstra Dome, it was clear that the crowd was split equally among both sides.  Not surprising really, given the amount of ex-pats living in the area, plus the large groups who follow the teams around the globe.  Since my Sister has duel nationality now, she decided to support both teams.  By wearing a English rugby Union top (I know, I did tell her) and an Australian Rugby Union hat (I told her again).  She added an Australian flag to her face too, for an extra bit of class.  You can see my reaction in one of the photos.

Inside the Dome, myself and Helen found our seats (away from Carrie and her Aussie mates) and promptly found that we were very much in the Aussie supporters section.  Luckily it seemed to be one very large family, who wasted no time at all telling us we sucked.  I surprised them though by telling them, honestly, that I bet against England anyway.  If this had been Rugby Union, maybe not, but since it's Rugby League, played by a handfull of professional teams in the Uk, but by most Aussie teams, it was obviously not going to go our way.  I could have mentioned the Olympics, especially the Swimming and the Cycling, but I didn't.  I'm not stupid.

The Telstra Dome is pretty small, really.  Capacity is about 45,000, and it wasn't full - as I said, it's Rugby League, not Union, which is universally more popular.  Shame, because it was a great atmosphere, full of friendly banter and mutual bullshitting by both sides.  Not once did I feel intimidated.  Compare that to say Gillingham vs Charlton in the UK - an occasion I cover up my top for fear of a beating.  

Naturally, England were thrashed - 54 - 4.  An appalling result, we were steamrollered the entire game.  It was a good laugh though, with at least one English fan shouting "There is still hope boys" 9 seconds from time.  

Afterwards I lost count of the amount of Aussie fans shaking my hand or backslapping me - well impressed.  We all had a good laugh, Australia wasn't embarrassed, and I tried various new beers.  All in, a good night out.

To commersirate though, I popped into a popular fast food establishment and gorged myself with burgers and ice cream.  It was the only option really.

Getting back to surburbia in the early hours, myself and Helen then continued our night of sport by staying up until almost 7am watching the Brazilian Formula 1 Grand Prix.  Which was a little more exciting than the Rugby, for sure.  With my Redbull Racing top on, it was a real struggle not to scream at the TV at various moments throughout the race.

England won that one, by the way.
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Comments

sianeth
sianeth on

Even though we got thumped...
...I'm *riddddiculously* jealous you went to this!

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