Well, I experienced RWC 2015 on Saturday night, taking in France’s win against Italy 32-10 at Twickenham.
A tremendous Latin atmosphere in the stadium that probably bemused the curious English supporters, most of whom where there to cheer Italy or at least Castrogiovanni.
There was brief chorus of ‘Swing Low’ that was quickly drummed out by a vociferous rendition of ‘La Marseillaise!’
However, Paris upon Thames it wasn’t, as no French band was in Twickenham to really crack up the atmosphere.
Just like the England-Fiji game, we had our own Referee-TMO howler, which is fast making the whole TMO thing a laughing stock.
No problem with the final decision as it was clear-cut that Nakaitaci lost the ball as he looked to ground it. What is it with Nakaitaci and the north try-line at Twickenham!!
What this shows is that the whole action must be played through to avoid the embarrassment we have seen with the referee having to go back after already awarding a try! Getting it right first time is a pre-requisite surely!
Sad to see Yoann Huget’s World Cup over as he received a cruciate knee ligament, whilst, for Italy, Andrea Massi ruptured his Achilles. Never nice to see any player injured, and I wish both well for a speedy recovery.
I drove up for the game and used the park and ride at Kempton Park racecourse. The cost is £20 for parking and bus to the ground.
The shuttles work pretty well dropping off and picking up at Rosebine Avenue on the A316. Make sure you know where the pick-up point is, as signage after the match to direct you there is pretty poor.
It’s quite a trek too at Kempton Park, as the cars are parked in the middle of the racecourse and you have to walk towards the main stands to pick up the buses near the railway station.
The lighting at night, when you return, wasn’t that good. The pathways are also slippery, so beware!
The road in and out of the racecourse is bumpy with a nasty drop near the gate to the main road.
So at the ground, they have copied the concept of the London Olympics with greeters etc. etc. All very pleasant and really eager to help!
You need deep pockets! A program is £10, or £12 for a program and a RWC magazine…….bargain!!!
You can get a plastic RWC 2015 glass for a £1 deposit which you get back if you want to return it after the game.
I didn’t buy any food or drink at the stadium, preferring to eat in town before hand.
The souvenirs are also expensive: a pin badge will set you back £6 whilst the must have baseball cap costs £17-50. I didn’t look at anything else, I didn’t dare!
There is quite a bit happening in the West Car Park pre-match for those that sort of thing, most packed into the bars watching the other games on the TV.
I await to see what the atmosphere and experience is on Wednesday night when I travel back to London for France v Romania in the Olympic stadium!
The result of the weekend, naturally that historic win for Japan against the Boks 34-32, what a result!
Final thought: a great fan of John Taylor, the former British Lion does a great job as stadium announcer at Twickenham, clear, concise and knowledgeable.