British Lions   Leave a comment

Tuesday, 18 June, 2013

Tonight, as you can see below, I went to the British & Irish Lions tour match against the local team, The Brumbies.

James purchased six tickets way back in Feb when they were released for the whole tour. I quite fancied the idea of nipping up to Sydney for the third and final Test match against the Wallabies, but those tickets were sold out within an hour of being released.

The Lions have played three or four warm up games so far on this tour and have won all of them pretty convincingly, so whilst we were in the Hellenic Club for a pre-game drink (or two) the chat came round to by how many the Lions would smash the Brumbies by tonight. Out of the six of us (Barry, James, Grannie, Nick, Patrick and myself) sat around the table, the lowest points difference offered was 26. I was put down on record as saying 32, and so we all paid our $10 in the expectation that the Lions would run out easy winners.

After a couple more drinks and an excellent pizza, we were off over to the bus station to catch the free bus laid on by the local bus company, Action Buses. On the way to the stadium the bus stopped at the bus station in Civic and we were greeted by a massive queue of people waiting to be picked up and taken to the game. Our bus soon filled up and we got our first chance to speak to some Lions supporters who have come on tour with the team.

I think tonight was the first time the Canberra stadium has been sold out in years, and because of this it took us a extremely long time to get too and into the stadium. So much time that we were getting worried that we would miss the start of the match. As it was, we just managed to take our seats a couple of minutes before the two teams took to the field.

The game started very well for the Lions, with what we thought was a try within 90 seconds. However, this was ruled as invalid, as the winger had clearly put his foot into touch just before grounding the ball. I was beginning to enjoy myself by winding up some of the locals around us, quoting the huge winning margins we had predicted earlier to anyone who would listen. Should have kept my mouth shut, as the first half turned out to be a bit of a struggle for the Lions and as the ref blew the whistle for the break, they were 8 – 3 down to a unconverted try and penalty against a single penalty. Of course some the stick I was handing out earlier was now coming back my way!

The expected onslaught by the Lions in the second half never materialised and although the final score was close at 14 – 12 to the Brumbies, in reality the Lions never looked like scoring a try, never mind winning the game.

Of course playing and watching sport is a large part of any tour, but probably a more important part is hitting the bars and clubs afterwards to discuss the games with your old and new mates who share the love of the game. After the match, the disappointment of losing was soon forgotten and we were soon back on the bus back into Civic in order to get to the Phoenix for a Guinness. After a couple in there, we wandered over to official ‘Canberra’s HQ for the Lions Tour’, King O’Malleys to see what was going on in there. As the last bus home had gone a long time before, we threw ourselves into the party going on in there and it was a taxi ride home at two in the morning for me!


Posted June 18, 2013 by yermandownunder in Canberra Events, Out and about

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