As I arrived at the Stoop last week I thought to myself – why aren’t I coming here again next week?  Saracens were playing Munster at 1pm – Quins v Wasps started at 7:45pm that was a huge gap between the 2 games – it seemed a plan to do both!  And so a ticket was bought before I left that evening, it just had to be done!

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I left Allianz Park with plenty of time to spare, having company for the journey was a pleasant change as my Saracens friend Nigel came along, he toyed with the idea of coming to the game but resisted the idea.  The drive between the 2 grounds is no distance really, it involves the non too lovely North Circular but the journey only took about an hour.

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I was meeting my Quins friends Henry and Sue for dinner before the game and we settled on The Marriot Hotel at the Twickenham Stadium.  It’s always a but odd to be over there when there’s no rugby on, yet it’s also great to see the place no matter what.

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A quick visit to the Rugby Store on the way to the hotel was a very useful place to buy birthday presents for the son of a colleague, his parents don’t like sport, I’m determined that he will!  So, a few England Rugby bits and pieces and we headed to the hotel.

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The benefit of a sports bar in the hotel is that the Leinster match was on one of the big screens, it was a bit off putting that football was on the other, but a good thing to spend a few hours in a comfy chair in the warm drinking tea and eating dinner.  Fish and Chips for me, which were stupidly hot, adding to the temperature I seemed to have building.  I suppose it is to be expected of cooked food!

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Nigel set off for the station as we headed to the Stoop, having walked straight into the military HAC ground in the City on Friday without any search it was almost a comfort to have my bag searched at the Stoop, it only took a moment, I do wonder if it needs to happen more often at club games.

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I sat in the area I try to head for at The Stoop amongst season ticket holders who know full full well that I’m a Saracens season ticket holder and have no problem with it.  There were also several Wasps fans sitting in the same area, and as the game went on I realised there were 3 or 4 Munster fans too!  They must have had the same idea as me! I imagine too much beer was the reason one shouted, for f**ks sake Quins, at the top of his voice a few times.  Not a good thing and very unusual at the Stoop.

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The atmosphere is always a good one at the ground, but for some reason during this game there were more people than usual interfering with watching the game as they took their seats, went for beer etc.  One Wasps fan walked in front just as a kick was being taken!

A few words about the game – after a win against Leicester Tigers last week I thought Quins had to be in with a good chance of a win against an ever improving Wasps.

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Quins had 67% of the possession and 70% of the territory.  Wasps made 182 tackles to Quins 76, they also scored 23 points to Quins 3!  It was an evening of staunch defence by the visitors where nothing worked for Quins.  I was disappointed that so many Quins fans left before the final whistle, their players deserved to be clapped off the pitch.

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The win for Wasps has set up a big game at the Ricoh Arena as they play Leinster to decide who tops the table to proceed to the quarter finals as pool winners.

A few facts, food and drink from the outlets

  • Cost of ticket                  – £54.00
  • Hog Roast Bap              – £6.50 – All from the Jolly Hog
  • Hog Roast Manwich!   – £10.00
  • Pork Sausage Bap         – £5.00
  • Sausage Rolls                – £4.00
  • Cold Drinks                   – £2.00
  • Water                             – £1.80 – Jolly Hog
  • Fish & Chips                 – £7.00
  • Fish Dog                        – £7.00
  • Chips                              – £3.00
  • Hot Drinks                    – £2.00

I’m sure I’ll be at Quins again this season to write about more food.

  • Ladies Toilets – I had access to the toilets in the members area, they’re getting a bit dated now, but there was only a shirt queue and they were clean and had paper, soap and a way dry your hands.
  • Safety – I parked by the hotel, and left after lots of people, I was glad a couple walked across the bridge as I did, although the walk is through houses largely I felt a little vulnerable.
  • Nicest moment of the evening, chatting to a lady called Jill who spotted I had a Saracens hat on when I  went to the loo, she’d been at the Saracens/Munster game and made a point of saying how good the atmosphere was and what an asset the Pioneers are.
  • Best moment of the game – Seeing Christian Wade run most of the length of the pitch as he scored his try from an interception – he is a delight to watch in full flow!

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Having been out all day, and actually to be feeling a bit rubbish it was a result that the journey home was hassle free.  My Satnav decided the North Circular was my best route most of the way and that was busy but running smoothly.  I listened to the radio rather than music so no favourite song to bombard you with!

Next up?  A trip to the Ricoh Arena for that game between Wasps and Leinster!

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