Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Rugby World Cup 2015 - soaking up the atmosphere in Cardiff

We had driven down that morning from the Cotswolds to watch two of the Rugby Union World Cup pool matches, Wales playing Fiji, followed next day by the All Blacks playing Georgia.

We found a distinct party atmosphere on our arrival in Cardiff. Rugby is something of a national religion in Wales, and the streets were thronged with both Welsh supporters and those drawn to the event from other countries. We were wearing our Wallaby jersey's and people kept patting us on the back!

We wandered around, soaking up the atmosphere before heading to the Millennium Stadium to watch the game. On the way, we stopped to get a sausage roll. Overpriced and they had run out of onions and were even low on sausages, but we needed the food.

The Welsh team were doing pre-match warm-ups as we entered. Wales normally wear red. This is there alternative stripe. We had watched the previous Wales match (they were playing England) at the Evesham Rugby Club. Somewhat unexpectedly, Wales had won 28-25 to the distress of our English hosts for the win knocked host nation England out of the finals. However, in winning Wales had added further to its injury woes and it was not clear how the team would cope against the big Fijians with their open running rugby.  

The atmosphere in the Millennium Stadium is world famous, and it was humming as it filled.In all, over 71,000 people packed in. Listening to 60,000 Welsh voices singing the national anthem in harmony was quite something.

It was a good natured crowd throughout the match who thoroughly enjoyed the match.

In the end, Wales were too strong, winning 21-13. After the match we took the long work to our car (parking was very difficult) and then went to find our motel  outside Cardiff. Tomorrow would be another day.