Tournament days 2

Posted: August 31, 2022 in Personal, Sports
Tags: , , , , ,

Day 2 didn’t start well as I had some trouble at the gate. The stadium has stringent rules about what you can and can’t bring in, rules that I’d looked up in advance thankfully as the “what you need to know” information came in an email about halfway through the day before the tournament started, a bit late for people to adjust. “A small clutch purse 4 1/2″ by 6 1/2″ ” was part of the worse-than-TSA rules and mine came in at about 5″ x 8″ as well as only about 1/2″ in thickness, good enough for day one but not two. Not only that but I saw plenty of people with items that extremely exceeded or flouted the rules. Sigh. Not the way to start the day. I was not happy!

As mentioned yesterday, many fans wear costumes. I didn’t catch most of them on camera, but there were some escaped convicts near us. There were people dress in fake chain mail armor, Irish fans in green tutus, Romans in their togas, and so on. There was also a group of men in Speedos and nothing else but thankfully they were quite a distance from us. No need to make me nauseous! We’d discussed dressing up but it never came to anything.

Rugby fans are as enthusiastic as any fans around but unlike soccer/football fans who get into fights, wreck grandstands, and send death threats to players they feel didn’t perform well, most rugby fans just want to have fun while supporting their favorite teams. Of all the teams, Fiji had the most fans and flags even though there were plenty US fans in attendance. Three of the Fiji supporters sat in front of us and when they left for a time, we told them we’d watch their seats. They didn’t come back for several hours and we wondered what had happened, finding out later that lots of people are there mostly to watch their teams play and then go back to their vehicles to tail gate until the next game. We were there to watch all the games, so we mostly stayed in place, sustained by the snacks I’d packed and plenty of water. I was happy to find we weren’t far from drinking fountains and one of those spots where you can refill water bottles. At $5 for a water in the stadium, I figure we saved about $50 just on water.

When these three came back, they thanked us for keeping their places (not that we had to run anyone off) and bought me a lemonade as a thank-you. Later another lemonade followed. And after another prolonged absence, they came back with food not only for them but something for us to share.

The Hawaiian chicken was SO good but we felt bad taking all that without something in return, hence the four beers for $75, an absolutely ridiculous price but when you’re in the stadium, you’re captive. Meeting them made day 2 even more fun and we talked about seeing them again in February as we’ll be trying to get the same seats.

The winners of the tournament were the New Zealand All-Blacks, a perennial rugby power but held back in the hunt for the series title this year by COVID flight restrictions that kept them as well as Fiji out of a number of the first tournaments. Confetti shot from a confetti canon obscured the players.

The series championship went to Australia, giving them a double as the women won the women’s series as well. My Blitzboks ended two points away from taking the series. I have hopes that in the World Cup tournament in Cape Town in less than two weeks, they’ll play the way they did during the first part of the series. But no matter the outcome, we had a wonderful time and plan to be back in February for the LA Sevens 2022-23 series. In the meantime, I’ll be looking for a see-through bag that will fit in the shoebox-sized box at the gate and will put all my odds and ends either in there or in my pants pocket. Can’t wait! And yes, Brian, I’ll have not only a hat but lots of suntan lotion along with everything else. Who knows? Maybe we’ll even be in costume. 🙂

  1. eklastic says:

    I have a husband in mourning here because of the Blitsbokke’s bad performance. If they’d done only a little bit better they would have taken the series. 😢 Thanks for sharing your days. I hope we’ll manage a live tournament next year!

    • It’s really lots of fun so I hope you can make it. The Boks performance made me quite unhappy as well. Three more points would have clinched the series for them. But your husband might agree with us that without Selvyn Davids they aren’t the same team and he’s injured.

      • eklastic says:

        He might, I’ll ask him. But what you said about rugby fans resonated with me. When we lived in South Africa we were not fans of the Bokke or the sport at all. Then we vacationed in Cyprus and were walking in a pub with a test match between South Africa and Australia. And were totally flabbergasted when the Australians clapped when the Bokke played well and the South African fans clapped when the Wallabies scored. It was amazing! We’ve been hooked ever since.

      • In the final match between Fiji and New Zealand, we and the three in front of us toasted every try, no matter the team. That’s rare!

  2. bushboy says:

    Fijians are wonderful people, ever so friendly. Glad they were near you. Made me laugh with the shout out janet.
    Maybe you could come within cooee of us and the NZ’ers next time 👍😃

    • That would be fun, Brian. My original favorite team was the All Blacks but we couldn’t see any rugby then and that was the 15’s. Australia 7’s are really good, exciting to watch, and so young that I expect they’ll be good for quite some time.

  3. Sounds like day 2 was as enjoyable as day 1. What a weekend!

  4. Sue says:

    Well, you had a good time overa ll

  5. Ally Bean says:

    I’m enjoying your explanation of what it’s like to go to a Rugby Tournament. Good food, pricey beers, and lots of enthusiastic spectators. Sounds like fun

  6. de Wets Wild says:

    Seems the costumes in the stands are as much a reason to go to the tournament as is the rugby on the field of play!
    But oh my, those prices really are exorbitant, especially if converted to our local currency. The price they gouged you for those 4 beers honestly is two-thirds of the pension grant our government makes available to people over 60! I fully understand why you opted to take your snacks along!
    Any chance we’ll see you at a 7s tournament in South Africa at some point, Janet? You’d love the vuvuzelas! They were almost more in the news than the soccer was when we hosted the FIFA World Cup here in 2010. 😀

  7. It would be nice if you can come to SA to watch a game, Janet! Perhaps I will join you tthere!

  8. What a hassle at the gate, but you had great seat buddies, and it sounds like you all had a really fun time!

  9. Wind Kisses says:

    Fun stuff. Thank goodness the Speedo were across the stadium. I think the clothing is just as entertaining as the tournament . Glad you had fun. I know you were looking forward to it.