Wednesday 27 December 2017

Number 48: Be Present when your team wins a World Cup

Completed 2 December 2017
2017 Rugby League World Cup, Australia VS England

Now I’ve never been a huge sports fan, but I do understand the appeal of competition and rivalry. So since my bucket list is also about trying things I’d never really seen the appeal in, why not sports… in fact why not the biggest of sports with a World Cup event.

Be present when your team wins a world up, actually took a little bit of investigation and several attempts. First of all, picking which world cup sport and finding one that has an event in the near future since a lot of World Cup events only take place once every four years.

The first event that springs to mind is obviously the FIFA World Cup and while Australia is good at a lot of them, soccer is not one of them. So next was football or Rugby, and it just so happened that the Rugby Union World Cup was only several months away.

So my first attempt at ticking this one off ended up being a failure due to Australia losing in the grand final however it was still a fun experience. With the event approaching, and Australia making it through to the finals, it was a case of tracking down a local venue that would be broadcasting it live, since due to the time zones, it was kicking off at 2:00am, local Brisbane time.

Luckily, I live in Fortitude Valley where the majority of sports are covered especially if Australia is being represented and The Elephant was the closest place that would have it on the big screen. So gave myself an early night on Saturday night, got some sleep and set my alarm for midnight. Enough time to get showered and ready, and get to the pub to grab a drink before kick-off.

When I arrived, the pub was quite lively, with a lot of guests obviously just staying out all night drinking to watch the game. The game was setup to be broadcast on a huge projector on the wall of the venue, so I grabbed a drink or two and a seat and got ready to watch.
The game itself was fairly one-sided for the first half, favouring New Zealand 16 to 3, with Australia attempting a comeback early in the second half before New Zealand ran away with it, closing out the final score or 34 to 17.
I finished up my drink, since it was after last call at this stage and headed home, to start planning the next attempt.

My second attempt at completing this one, cost a bit more but was much more of an event as the Rugby League World Cup 2017 was being held in Brisbane, Australia which just so happened to be where I live. Also since not really knowing about sports, I also discovered by asking around that apparently Australia was a strong contender for winning the entire event.

So at a friend’s birthday earlier in the year, months and months before the event started, I met some people that were going and they mentioned they had a spare ticket if I wanted to go along. I said sure, paid them a few weeks later and thought no more on it until a week or so before the grand final that as predicted, Australia did make it all the way through to along with England. Due to a ticketing mix-up, my seat was changed last minute to another seat but that was all sorted and with that, it was off to the game. Catching the train to Roma Street and walking down Caxton Street, towards Suncorp Stadium, where I’d never been before.

Into the stadium, which was super quick and up the stairs towards my seat, identifying bars and food spots on the way. I was right on the top and back, however, my seat was in the middle of a row. Instead of squeezing past a bunch of strangers I noticed vast rows of empty seats a few rows back. The rows were probably empty because they were pretty much the worst seats, furthest away from the action you can get… but for me it was great. I had two entire rows largely to myself the entire game. Fully able to move around, stretch, swap seats and go to the bar/snacks without pushing past entire rows of people.

Anyway, the game went on, I drank, chatted to some English guys that came to my row and the game was quite a close one ending with the final score 6 to 0, Australia.

Overall, didn’t find it too exciting and I’ll update this completion again if Australia does ever get into and win a FIFA World Cup event but for now, we can mark it as done.


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