My First Rugby Match: The Sporty Guide for Not So Sporty Girls

Stacey Warner

I need to make one thing clear from the outset: some girls are very sporty people who know their stuff. I saw plenty of women at the England V Barbarians Rugby match at Twickenham. I’m just not usually one of them.

I blame my Dad for this. My Dad, you see, is a West Ham United fan. This means that my early exposures to sport involved losses and heart ache and personally not being any good at actually playing them, sport has somewhat passed me by.  I have, however, been around a lot of events. From working at the Grand National in Liverpool to volunteering at ExCel for the London 2012 Olympics. So, it became clear to me, that at some point I would need to experience being a spectator at a live sporting event for myself. That’s why when my friend asked, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.

Twickenham June 2014, 50,589 attendees!

(Well…that and watching muscular men run up and down a pitch sounded like way too good an opportunity to miss!)

  1. Drinks: Beer is going to be best value although there did seem to be a variety on offer. It will also be a bit more than you’d usually pay for a pint (£4.50 was what I paid for Becks). I’d suggest bringing about £15-£20 for drinks and £10 for food. They took both card and cash but I would recommend you have sufficient cash so you can deal with shorter queues.
  2. Clothes: As far as I can tell you should wear what you want. You’ll see a lot of different sporting tops. You could probably wear a skirt if you wanted but I would say considering the number of steps you may have to climb, you’ll likely be comfier in jeans and flats.
    Simply and comfortably dressed. Only 30 steps or so where we were.
  3. Rules: It’s probably worth researching the rules of the game before you go, but assuming you’re going with a partner you might be better off asking them. Particularly if they’re male, they’ll probably a) enjoy the ego rub and b) love hearing that you’re interested.
  4. Get Involved: Some chants and singing are very easy to pick up. We all know the likes of “oogy oogy oogy” right? Then there’s Mexican waves. Plus, the more you get into the game, the more you’ll want to cheer and boo and I say: do it! The more you engage, the more you’ll enjoy.
  5. Apply:  You’ll learn better by applying the rules you’ve learnt to the action you’re seeing.
    For example:  At one point in the game the score was Barbarians 34 England 26. I realised that after you score a try you get 7 points and the chance to score a conversion by kicking the ball through the “H” and getting another 2 points and therefore if we could score a converted try we’d be back ahead.  Despite such technical terminology as “the H” developing this understanding really helped me enjoy the match.

In the end I had a really enjoyable time and hopefully I’ll be back. Unfortunately, both teams I was supporting (Cornwall and England) lost their matches but this was a really great way to get me interested in sport and I can’t wait for my next time.

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