Monday, 18 May 2009

The Stormers

Rugby is as big here as football is at home, it is the number one sport and people go mad for it. The biggest tournament is the Super 14 which sees 14 provincial teams from South Africa (5 teams), New Zealand (5 teams) and Australia (4 teams) compete against each other in a single league, playing each other once during the season. The top 4 teams then play off to decide the champion.

Our local team is the Stormers representing the Western Cape and playing their home games in Cape Town at the famous Newlands Stadium. This season has not been a great one for the Stormers but we still decided that it would be good to go and see them in their final home game against the Western Force from Australia on the evening of 9th May.

We had great seats in the Railway Stand with Radie and his friend Charles. We parked near to the ground and we had a few pre-match beers at CubaƱas before making our way to the ground. The atmosphere was great, despite the below capacity crowd, just like going to an evening kick off for the football at home.

We bought some biltong, had another pre-match beer in the bar and found our seats. The stadium is a superb place to watch rugby, four tall stands tower over the pitch and make the crowd feel as if they are within touching distance.

The game was very entertaining, not least because of the high number of unforced errors, and we were treated to some end to end rugby. It was very easy to support the local team as South Africans have exactly the same feelings towards Australian sports teams as the Brits do - we both hate them! The Stormers should have had the game won by half time but thanks to two disallowed tries and the comedy error of the season when the centre Dylan Des Fountain dropped the ball unchallenged, whilst already over the line, they only led 15-7.

The second half continued in the same vain with the Stormers having yet another try disallowed and the Western Force threatening to get back into the game. Eventually the Stormers got more points on the board and despite intense pressure from the Western Force in the final 10 minutes they held on for a well deserved 25-24 victory.

We thoroughly enjoyed our first Super 14 experience and will definitely be back to support the Stormers in the future, especially as tickets are reasonably priced at R100 (£6.50)!

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