A few weeks ago, Australians, South Africans, rugby fans and everyone in between crowded the Adelaide Oval to watch the Wallabies and Springboks go head-to-head for the Rugby Championship test match.
Besides my friends’ interschool hockey games and my one-off softball match, I’ve never really witnessed a professional sporting event in person, let alone one of international stature. Despite not being the biggest sports fanatic out there, I’ve always wanted to go to one anyway because I remember how drawn I was to the euphoric energy radiating off the crowd in my living room TV.
I craved that feeling. I wanted so badly to be in the centre of that madness, amongst those crowds of screaming spectators. There’s just something so exciting and patriotic about cheering for somebody. So I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go to my first sporting event which also happened to be my first rugby game!
That air of excitement that I was yearning for for so long finally hit me when we arrived at the Oval. Seeing so many people in their team jerseys and colours filled me with a thrill I wouldn’t even attempt to describe because I know my words wouldn’t do it justice but to sum it up, I was finally in the centre of that madness. I know nothing about rugby except that you’re supposed to be clutching the ball for dear life while you bulldoze a bunch of equally muscular men/women across the field to get a score. I do, however, know how to dress for the occasion so you bet I was repping that green and gold for Australia.
Once we settled into our seats and the teams made their grand entrances, the game took off. Withing minutes, the Wallabies scored their first point. That was quick! I was, unsurprisingly, confused as to how they got a point and so was my friend. I didn’t even really care how oblivious I was to the rules. I was just really happy to be there, cheering along whenever people in the Australian jersey were cheering.
During half-time, we went on Google and attempted to make sense of how the game works. It was complicated, let me tell you. My friend caught on quick though, so for the next half of the game, I would turn to her for explanation every time a team scores or gets a penalty. That definitely made the whole experience even more enjoyable.
The Wallabies won 25-17. Marika Koroibete won Player of The Match (he was insane!). The crowd was buzzing with pride and exhilaration and so was I. Safe to say my first rugby game experience was a success! I’m even thinking of going to an AFL match at some point. Besides getting a deeper insight into the game, attending the match also taught me that it’s good to experience something new once in a while – even if you have zero clue about the subject matter. You might hate it; you might like it but it’s always worth a shot. So go out and try something new these uni holidays.