Rugby is a BIG deal here. I mean, huge. It is in most places, actually, except the US. We got invited in July to go to the game of the South African Springboks versus the New Zealand All Blacks. If you don’t follow rugby, the All Blacks won the world cup this year and the Springboks came in 3rd. This was labeled the “game to go to” for anyone and we were lucky enough to get to go! Our first rugby game! We even got matching shirts! OK, I obviously bought the matching shirts and Jamie just humored me, as always.
Our friends invited us to ride this huge bus with them to the game and we first stopped downtown to have lunch and hang out at this old clubhouse. It was a beautiful old building that apparently had Joburg’s longest bar in it. Sadly, they closed the place down a week or so after we booked it.
If you get an opportunity to go to any rugby game – national, regional, whatever – definitely check it out. The energy is very contagious and was a lot of fun!
After lunch, the bus drove us to Ellis Park Stadium for the game. This place was packed! Never having been to a rugby game and only watching a handful of games on TV thus far, I was surprised by the size of the field. I only have American Football to compare to, but the rugby field was only 60 yards. I thought it would have been bigger. But, since it wasn’t, you felt really close to the field and players and I liked that. Our friends were big fans, especially the South African ones, so that helped us to get into the game. Being winter and sitting in an open air stadium, it got COLD once the sun went down. But we had a very good time! Jamie has since been to a Rugby 7s tournament, which I will post about later, but we look forward to going to many more rugby games! They are starting soon, I believe!
Here is one concession stand item American stadiums need to adopt: the stackable pint glass. You can order up to 6 beers and the handles all stack together so it’s easy to carry back to your seat. Genius.