Having rushed away from Lords and the Royal London Cup Final I made good time to Waterloo to then get stuck on a slow train to Twickenham. I was in the company of some very charming French men, I have no idea why when they speak English it’s music to the ears, yet we sound pretty awful the other way round!
We were all amazed to learn that Japan had beaten the mighty Springboks, it certainly helped what turned into a longer than necessary journey go by pleasantly.
I arrived just in time to get to my seat for the teams to emerge, I was slightly disappointed that my Category B ticket was behind the posts, it did surprise me that my French companions had Cat D tickets in the West Stand however.
We were treated to 2 of the best national anthems, rousing, I’m not a fan of the anthem used for England and would love to see it changed. I always try to sing along with the French Anthem even though I fail on the words a few sentences in!
It was strange to see France in red, in the same way England were for their opening match, it made Allez Les Bleus strange as it was of course Italy who were in blue!
I’m going to go more Phlog than Blog with this match, in common with the England match the TMO featured far too heavily for a second evening in a row. This wasn’t an attractive game of rugby and a prolonged decision via the TMO didn’t help!
A try was given for Nakaitaci after it had been checked by the TMO but as the replay ran on it was clear that he’d dropped the ball, there was an outcry which caused a rethink. In a repeat of the Fijian non-try the 5 points were wiped off and a penalty awarded to France instead.
The teams went in with the scores on France 15 Italy 3 after a fairly heated, yet fairly boring half of rugby.
France did score 2 tries in the 2nd half to Italy’s 1 which made it a more entertaining half of rugby. Italy had more possession and territory than their opponents but failed to capitalise, they also gave away far too many penalties. The game finished with the score on France 32 Italy 10.
France very often shine in World Cups, they took the points from this match but faced what could be a big blow as Yoann Huget was helped from the pitch with what looked like a bad injury.
I met a pretty amazing young French Fan as I was leaving, she was 23 and at the match on her own, we caught the bus to Waterloo together. I watch a lot of sport on my own, but I’m not so sure I’d have gone to a different country alone to watch a match at 23!
My journey home was again an arduous one, it took much longer than it should have, I’m not in Twickenham again until the Semi-Final 2, I may need to rethink how I make my way there.
- Cost of Ticket £175.00