We went out to a rugby game last Saturday. It wasn’t your typical rugby game. It was a dirty, muddy, knee-wrenching, bone-crushing, head-banging, dog-piling game with broken scrums and long-running rucks.
Ok, so it was a typical rugby game.
It was the Blue Bulls of Pretoria against the Lions of Johannesburg. It’s only an hour between the two cities, so the stands were full of both teams’ fans. We went with one Bulls’ fan and one Lions’ fan, which made the night awesome.
But that wasn’t the only thing that made the night awesome. It was held at Ellis Park, the same stadium that the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final was held in. Ellis Park, where just after the transition to democracy, South Africa defeated the All Blacks of New Zealand in overtime of the final. It was a moment captured well (according to many South Africans) in the movie Invictus. It was cool to be in a place where history was made, and such an important history for a country.
In the pre-game last Saturday, a man in only whitey tighties ran onto the field, evading three security guards for quiet a while before finally being pulled down.
Finally, the game began, going back and forth for the whole first half (40 minutes). Three points here, three points there. At half, it was 9 to 6. The second half continued much the same, until the final minute of the game. With the score tied, the Bulls scored on a penalty kick to take the lead at 18-15. But just a few seconds later, the Lions pounded over the try line to go up 20-18. The subsequent kick ended the game at 22-18 as the time clicked off the clock.
Back and forth, down to the wire, dramatic finish – that’s a good game to go to. I’m so glad we could go and experience it! I’ll add some pictures of the game later – my camera and the computer are not communicating well with each other…