On Friday 21st October I ceremoniously made my way with Donna and Ken to my first live rugby match at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand. Although Australia and Wales were competing for 3rd place in the World Cup and not for advancement in the tournament it was still an exciting match, and exciting for me to see a live match against two top teams!
Bus to Eden Park
I would have liked to walk to Eden Park from Quay St along the Fan Trail but given my medical condition it wouldn’t have been advisable!I met up with Donna and Ken and we took one of the free buses up to the stadium. Bus after bus heading up to the stadium was filled with excited fans. ________ ___________ ______________________ ____________________ ________________
The crowd enjoying the night outside of Eden Park Stadium!
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Sports fans made their way towards the stadium, stopping to listen to live music and performances along the way. Most people were dressed up with face paint, team jerseys and national flags.
Ken, Donna, Anna
Making my way up the make-shift staircase to my D section seats!
_____________ _______________ ______________ ____________ My friends and I sat on almost complete opposite sides of the stadium and I made my way around the perimeter to the N entrance, up the steps and to my nosebleed seats at the top of the stadium!
I'm at a Rugby World Cup 2011 game!!!
The great thing about the D section seats is they are at the far end of the field and have a spectacular view with no obstructions. My ticket cost me $97 plus a booking fee, but well worth it to be part of the action!
The players take the field!
_____________ ___________________________ In the Bronze Final the two teams that lose the semi final games compete for third place in the World Cup. Most rugby fans, especially kiwis, felt that the All Blacks’ win over Australia had decided the fate of the tournament, but it’s not over yet!
National Anthems of Australia and Wales
_____________ _______________ ___________________________ The match commenced after the singing of the National Anthems of Australia and Wales. Since I have many Australian friends and only two Welsh friends I had intended to cheer for Australia but when I arrived at the stadium I ended up going for Wales!
Where the magic happens: Eden Park in Auckland!
_____________ _______________ _____________ _______________ ___________________________ The fans were cheering and animated, but the it felt so silent without the constant commentary on the television! Without breaks in play the stadium is unable to play music to amp up the crowd unless a player gets injured and they need to stop the clock. If it’s a minor injury play will continue while medics treat the player.
An exciting Game!
_____________ _______________ ___________________________ Despite the lack of cheerleaders, half time shows, or any frills that American sports normally have, the fans did a pretty good wave, which made it around Eden Park at least twice! Most people around my seat were cheering for Wales. Kiwis tend to be supporters of the underdog, or any team going up against Australia!
The Wallabies Accept their Bronze Medals
_____________ _______________ _______________ ___________________________ The action was a bit quiet during the second half but became more thrilling at the final minutes when Wales scored a try at the last moment. Regardless, Australia had won the game!
Returning to Britomart Train Station
We took the train back to Britomart Station. Both tracks were used for traffic going to the CBD, and still there were enormous lines!