Royalty Tours USA

Friday, May 9, 2014

Royalty sees our first ever Rugby match in Melbourne, Australia!‏

When the King & I decided to go Down Under, we wanted to see more than just baseball there, sports wise that is. We also wanted to see a sport that was popular in Australia. They have Australian rules football & a few different kinds of rugby. We wound up going to a Super Rugby fixture. It's also known as Rugby Union. There's another kind that's called Rugby League. When I looked at the schedule this match was the best fit for us. In addition, the King told me he preferred to see that over footy if you will. He didn't realize how popular footy was in Melbourne. Since I didn't realize that they had nine AFL teams in Melbourne, I didn't know there was a game when we were going to be there. I was informed the week before by Paul Tyson who we met at the Light Brigade before game one of the MLB Opening Series at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Paul & his wife Sue came from Melbourne where they live to see the baseball game. He told us we need to see footy. 

However, we decided to stick with our original plan of going to the rugby match. When I was planning out the trip, I got in touch with a young man named Xavier Player who lives in Melbourne & he's a ballpark chaser too. He told me he's a member of the Melbourne Rebels. They were home against the Brumbies of Canberra which is the capital of Australia. I told him I plan to meet him when I go there. As it got closer, we arranged to met up. As it turned out, he wound up meeting the King & I at Young & Jackson Pub by Federation Square. When I was there I got in contact with him thanks to Ken Liu who had service on his phone. He wrote Xavier & he told him where were sitting. Shortly after 6PM, Xavier showed up with his Rebel hoodie ‎ & scarf on.  We all introduced ourselves. He lead the way once we left the Pub. We took a short walk over to AAMI Park where the Rebels play their home matches. Ken decided to join us. He wanted his lady friend Nat to go but she decided not to. Ken was willing to pay her way. She was concerned about getting home on her own. With that being said, we said goodbye to her & we went on our way to the match.
Outside of AAMI Park
Melbourne Rebels & Brumbies
AAMI Park - home of Rugby League, Rugby Union & Football
I'm glad we met Xavier because he was very knowledgeable about the sport of rugby. To be perfectly honest, I only read up briefly about it online. When we arrived at the stadium, we went to the box office ‎& we purchased tickets for the game. We wound up going inside & we sat with Xavier who likes to sit in the end zone. 
My ticket for the match
View from where we sat at the fixture
It turned out to be a different experience for us. As the match went on, Xavier explained the rules to us. The match was comprised of two forty minute halves which like soccer are running time. ‎With that being said, the match would last around two hours.
As for the match we saw, the Rebels got off to a slow start. They fell behind, 7-0 as the Brumbies got a try which is worth five points ‎& a conversion which is good for two more points. The Rebels broke the shutout with a penalty goal which is worth three points to make it a 7-3 score. The Brumbies added a penalty goal of their own to go up, 10-3. The Rebels closed the gap again by adding another penalty goal to make it 10-6 at halftime. The Brumbies extended their lead to 17-6 early in the second half. All of a sudden, the Rebels roared back. They wound up of scoring 23 unanswered points as Jason Woodward was a one man show as he was responsible for majority of their points. He scored on six penalty  goals, he also had a try & two conversions as the Rebels held off the the Brumbies, 32-24. It was a great comeback for the home team who look sluggish for the first 50 minutes of the match. As the saying goes, it's not how you start, it's how you finish. The Rebels who haven't played well accordingly to Xavier in previous games  decided to wake up in the second half to emerge victorious. It was fun to be part of the celebration which culminated with the Rebels fight song after the match.
Live action opposite end from us
Live action right in front of us
Aftermath of a scrum
Rebels win, 32-24!
Afterwards, we all walked back to Federation Square together. When we got there, we said goodbye ‎& we all thanked Xavier for joining us & being such a good host & teacher. I hope our paths cross somewhere down the road. In the meantime, Xavier is going to graduate school in hopes of landing a decent paying job so he can pursue his dreams in life. I want to wish him only the very best.

As for the King, Ken & I we walked around with Ken who knew the area better than us since he was there for a few days. He wound up taking us to a tram that wound up getting within a few blocks from our motel in St. Kilda. ‎ 

When we finally got to the motel, we got our bags that were in the room we left them in earlier in the day. We checked in & we got the keys to the room. We proceeded to go to the room so we could get some sleep. We didn't get a whole lot because we had to get the Airport Bus back to the Airport so we could catch our flight eventually back home.

Stay tuned for a special post that will wrap up this memorable journey.

Thank you for reading & following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

1 comment:

Andrew Pollner said...

I am so glad you caught a Rugby game it looks like a lot of fun. I am glad you enjoyed it!