It is the main event and the whole of the rugby world is looking towards Sydney. There are lions shirts everywhere, in fact so much so you wonder if there are going to be any Australia fans at the game.
Two of my school friends are separately in town and I’m trying to meet up with them before the match because I know how much carnage there will be after the final whistle. Sadly I don’t manage to meet up with Neil, but randomly bump into Emma at a pub on The Rocks before heading to the stadium. We haven’t seen each other since we were teenagers but recognise each other instantly, and catch up over a drink.
Later on I meet up with my section of the lions support and we head towards the ANZ stadium where the atmosphere is building nicely. Chris had secured some great seats for us and after a few beers the game kicked off.
The lions are doing well but an Australia score late in the first half means things are far from certain whilst we discuss the connotations over a half time beer. However in the second half a team made up largely of Welshmen beats the Wallabies into submission and the game ends in a record victory for the lions.
The carnival atmosphere had started for the lions fans some time before the final whistle, with every Aussie fan leaving early getting a round of “Cheerio, cheerio, cheerio!” from 30,000 rowdy Brits in the stadium.
It was one of the things I was really hoping to see on my own tour and our own festivities continued well into the night. As you can see things got a bit messy, and I cannot explain why my friend’s wife is sticking her fingers up my nose, whilst I proudly hold the hat I had liberated from one of the fans of our vanquished foes. The rest is a bit of a blur…