Back to writing about my ‘events’ in order – phew, it was all a bit confusing going off on a tangent! After 2 great days of Ashes cricket – England won in case you hadn’t heard!! Cardiff was my next destination.
I drove from Nottingham after Day 2 of the Ashes to Tewkesbury, it felt about halfway between the 2 places and a smooth journey proved me about right. I stopped at a very classy venue for dinner, the Services near Tewkesbury, not flashy but I had one of my favourite meals – Harry Ramsden’s Fish and Chips! Ooh it’s top quality!
A good nights’ sleep in my Travelodge, once I’d actually gone to the right hotel! I took my totally enormous case into a Pemierinn – oops! And I was on my way into Cardiff.
I’d been advised to go via the M50 and wow I’m glad I did, what incredibly beautiful scenery I drove through. I clearly put in thousands of miles a year to watch sport and I often marvel at what a breathtaking country we live in – I should probably say countries there, sorry Wales and Scotland! Oh and Ireland! All quite lovely!
I drove to the rugby specific Park & Ride just off the M48 at £6.00 it’s really the best way to get into the middle of Cardiff, plenty of parking spaces and plenty of buses too.
I had lunch and made my way to the stadium, I’m always over excited when I go to the Millennium I have not a single particle of welshness (not a word I know) in me, but I walk through the gates and I turn into a Welsh person – it’s all very odd. I don’t think I’ll ever go and watch England there in a 6 Nations match.
I got to my seat to find I was literally on the half way line, over excited didn’t quite cover it. there are no bad seats in this stadium – but the halfway line! For £50.00 – brilliant!
Having written a virtual match report for each of the Ashes days I’ve been to I’m not going to go into too much detail about this match. I’d say that both teams were a mix of Probables and Possibles, I’d also judge that a few Welshmen played themselves out of a shirt!
I’d been at the same fixture for the 6 Nations and saw a fantastic game of rugby, with a well deserved win for the Welsh – this game was a million miles away from that!
The end score was Wales 21 Ireland 35 but that really didn’t tell the story – for the majority of the game it was like watching men against boys!
The Irish pack totally dominated particularly at the set piece, but also in the loose. Mike Phillips was slow move the ball, giving away any small advantage gained – and they were far and few in the first 20 minutes.
James Hook’s decision making was very poor and I’d say the Welsh team on the whole looked disjointed and tired. I’m yet to understand the benefits of hot weather/altitude training for a World Cup taking place in England and Ireland!
Ireland on the other hand were a cohesive unit, led by Jamie Heaslip who looked to be on top form they made very few, if any errors. They looked like they’d been playing as a unit for weeks. I imagine there will be much head scratching for the selectors.
Keith Earls was rightly judge Man of The Match – he was the stand out player on the day and scored a great try to add to the other 4 scored by his team mates.
Ireland were impressive looking every inch the 6 Nations Champions, Wales? Were poor, their next warm up game should be interesting to say the least!
Quite a few people left the ground early, I really don’t get that, I go to watch the sport, if I have to queue for a bus, train, in a car so be it, I won’t miss a moment! There was a fair queue for the bus but I had nice people to chat to so the time flew by.
A mention for my neighbours during the game too, I sat next to brothers Lawrence and Lance – they were very good company and passionate about their sport, I think they both found my life around sport – shall I say weird?
A few facts
- Cost of Ticket £50.00
- Cost of Park & Ride £ 6.00
- An annoying fact about the Millennium – you’re not allowed to take as much as a bottle of water into the ground with you, forcing you to buy all drink. You’re also not allowed to have a bottle. Maybe it needs pointing out this is a rugby ground?
- Ladies toilets – plenty of them, clean, hand wash and a way to dry hands