A visit to see my daughter in Paris gave me the chance to visit Racing 92’s swanky new stadium The Paris La Defence Arena. This is going to be more of a Phlog than a Blog, but, a few words to go with the photos.

I’d had a lovely few days in Paris, visiting the Musee D’Orsay and The Musee Rodin for the first time. Alexandra (said daughter) and I had planned to visit Monet’s Garden over the weekend but I got the date of the match wrong which means we turned up a day early. Luckily it was a day early and not a day late!

Indoor Rugby!

We made our way back again on the Sunday, the new stadium is much easier to get to than the old, just by La Grande Arche a stunning modern building of huge proportions you can see the historic Arc de Triomphe in the distance. Both form part of the Triumphal Way, running from the Louvre to the Arche.

The new stadium is a similarly impressive structure, and is in effect ‘indoor’ rugby. One end is a huge screen, which isn’t used for the play in motion most of the time, there’s a smaller screen for that, but when it was, it was hard to tear your eyes away from.

We were sat behind the posts and paid £14 each for the privilege, that’s pretty great value for a Top 14 match! The corner to our left was clearly for die hard Racing fans, they were certainly the ‘cheer leaders’ for their team and they did a great job!

This was a chance to see Simon Zebo and Donnacha Ryan playing for the home team, neither disappointed, Zebo gave a Man of the Match performance and both scored a try, with Ryan’s try being made by Zebo.

This match was all action, we were treated to 9 tries, with Racing scoring 6 and Bordeaux the remaining 3. Maxime Machenaud ran the show for Racing, he’s always such an influential player. His replacement, Teddy Irabaren was red carded minutes after he joined the fray. The incident was almost amusing as he lashed out at the player who’d tackled him. Another. much bigger, Bordeaux player simply lifted him up and deposited him out of the way. Not a single boo rang out as the red card was shown in his direction, which was very refreshing.

I’m going to add most of my photos to the end, but the 4 above show the true spirit of the game, especially when the players stood up and it was plain this was players from both teams. Oh, the final score was Racing 92 45 Bordeaux 27

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