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Dave T

Favourite RL experience

39 posts in this topic

So, here's a nice happy thread to lead us into the weekend. For me, RL is much more than just the 80m action. It is all about the atmosphere, the build up, the celebrations (or drowning of sorrows), visiting new places, the sights, sounds, smells (thinking of Widnes here :P ), and I'm interested in people describing their favourite experiences.

I have a few that I was thinking of for this thread, Wembley last year, the WC Final in Brisbane, but possibly my favourite ever RL experience was going to Barcelona to watch Catalans v Wire in 2009.

I went over with a mate for a couple of nights, staying in a cheap hotel in the City centre, and from the moment we stepped off the plane you just knew it would be something special. Getting to the hotel and having a wander towards Ramblas it was brilliant seeing fellow Wire fans sitting in the cafe bars enjoying a cold beer in the sun. Unfortunately we had a few too many cold beers in the sun and an early night followed!

Matchday was something I will remember for the rest of my life. This time as we walked towards Ramblas we were greeted with the sight of thousands and thousands of Catalans fans wearing their colours, waving their flags, and basically takng over the Ramblas area, and this was at 9.30am!

It was amazing seeing RL fans take over the city with the locals wondering what the hell was happening! Throughout the day the strip got busier, and noisier, as thousands more fans turned up. The Wire fans took over the Irish bar and the square was filled with the flags, whilst Catalans seemed to take over everywhere else!

As the match approached we headed up to the beautiful Olympic Stadium, in what has to be one of the best settings ever for a stadium. The views were breathtaking, and it was brilliant having a pint and paella with the backdrop of the historic stadium and the view from the hills in the 30 degree heat!

Once we had found our seat (bit of a maze inside the stadium) the game thankfully lived up to our expectations (as Wire fans) as we got a hard fought win, but that was a minor distraction, as we went back out to the party outside for more beer and paellea until the Catalans fans boarded their coaches at around 11pm.

After that point it got a bit messy, with drunken exploits involving scuffling with gangs of black prostitutes (we were trying to get away from them - honest!), and more beer before retiring happy.

This for me is what RL is about, and as much as I love going to places like Whitehaven, Bradford and Hull, it was nice, just for a weekend to have a glimpse of what it would be like for RL to be a major international sport, as we were in a beautiful foreign city with RL fans everywhere.

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Two stand out for me. Melbourne in 1992 when we beat the Aussies by a record score on Australian soil. The match itself and the celebrations afterwards still bring back great memories. The second was Hull's Challenge Cup win in 2005. A new venue, a new city, a game we had under control only to lose the initiative and then that fantastic moment when Paul Cooke sold his dummy to the Leeds defence and the anticipation as Danny Brough took the conversion. A fantastic day all round.

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seeing a game in France last week

the whole experience even better than I expected.

seeing my team win at wembley

Jiffy's try against the Australians at Wembley.

seeing a major project at my club coming to fruition.

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Bradford v Saints at Wembley in 1996 - it was just a fabulous game. Saints v Bradford again in 2001 at Twickenham, not the game, that was pretty dreadful but in a pub near the stadium afterwards - the place was full to the rafters with fans of umpteen clubs and the Landlord decided to put on a CD of sing-a-long songs - everybody was singing - it was a real standout for me.

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The anticipation in Townsville prior to the game against PNG. The whole 3 days were brilliant!

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The first time I saw the teenage Jason Robinson in action. :blink: The years have lent familiarity to his style (and, of course he slowed and became a steadier player), but he was like something from another planet, back then.

Barry 'Goal Machine' Ward landing a conversion from the touchline against the Kiwis. Just makes me laugh. :D

The first half of Wales v the Kangaroos at the Millennium Stadium. Specifically, the huge grin on Lee Briers' face when he scored that try.

Edited by Futtocks

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seeing a major project at my club coming to fruition.

Another fire was it?

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11th November 2001. GB 20 Australia 12. After the pig ignorant Aussies refused to fly to the UK because big British tourist attractions like the Eiffel Tower would be the target of terrorist attacks they finally arrived and got their comeuppance at the McAlpine.

The main thing I remember was that the crowd noise was like a solid wall. It just roared and roared and roared. Never heard anything like it before or since at any other sporting event. Watching the recording at home and the commentary sounded like it was being played over white noise.

Sadly, it was business as usual the following week.

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bulldogs vs parra semi final 75,000. best atmosphere ive seen at a rl game

close 2nd hull derby at the kc

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Seeing my sons team win their first game after 18 months of getting absolutely battered every week by the opposition.

Seeing Leeds beat Cas in the yorkshire cup final at Elland Road.

Watching Roy Powell playing for Leeds.

GB beating the Aussies in Australia including the "Henderson Gill Boogie".

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GB beating the Aussies in Australia including the "Henderson Gill Boogie".

I only watched that on TV, but I remember getting up early to watch it on BBC with my dad, and we went crazy when Mike Gregory went 80m for his try.

So many brilliant memories from that one game!

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1. Becoming the first official World Champions in 1989, in front of 30,000 fans at Old Trafford.

2. Even though we didnt win, watching my team play at Sydney Football Ground against some of the NRL's finest in the World Sevens.

3. Being the first team to beat Warrington in their new tinpot B&Q stadium.

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the completely ridiculous journey to get to wembley from norway and back last year. thank f*ck we won.

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Another fire was it?

I don't know why, but that is the funniest thing I've read today.

Back on topic, 3 things stand out for me. My first international back in October 1994 - 2nd Test Gb v Aus at Old Trafford. Bobby Goulding throwing the pass out to Martin Offiah only for the ball to be intercepted by Mal Meninga who ran 60odd metres and passed to Andrew Ettingshausen to score. The game was quite close up to that point. The whole build up and the atmosphere were fantastic. From talking to a very excitable little Aussie bloke on the walk up to the ground, through to the crush on the Metrolink. Just a pity GB were beaten.

Secondly, a Wigan V Saints match I went to see at Central Park. I'm pretty sure it was Good Friday 1995. Amidst all the SL merger uproar Wigan were clinching the title again. Sometime during the match, Saints forced Wigan to drop out from under the posts. Can't remember who did the drop out, but none of the Saints players went to catch the ball on the full. Henry Paul ran straight through, caught the ball and ran all the way to the other end of the ground to score. Pure class. That and the sight of Vai'aga Tuigamala in his pomp, literally knocking blokes out of the way. Awesome.

Thirdly, last year when we finally went to Sydney. The whole holiday was fantastic. Staying in a city that lives and breathes RL was awesome. Going to see Wests V Parramatta at the SFS in a crowd of 36,000 was fantastic. And don't let anyone tell you Aussie crowds don't create any atmosphere! We even met the BARLA GB under 21s buying loads of gear in Peter Wynn's shop in Parramatta. We enjoyed it so much we went back at Easter this year.

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Smell of Wintergreen as the players entered the pitch, first taste of whiskey coffee and watching the players keep warm at half time by dancing to Tom Jones "Its Not Unusual" on a snow covered pitch - all this at Odsal circa 1965...

GB beating the Aussies at Odsal circa 1978 and being pelted with bottles by female Aussie fans as we walked round the pitch...

1996 to 2003 - Best RL years of my life - win or lose didn't give a monkeys - sheer utopia to be part of what was happening during this period.

Mal Meninga against Les Dyl in some test match.

Cas beating Wigan in their prime in a BBC televised final (cannot remember the trophy) - Wigan were the only full time club then and Cas were all part timers like the rest.. a real giant killer on the day.

Ball bouncing off David Barends head and into touch - someone in the crowd shouted "In off the black - 8 away"

Wembley weekends and all that went with them..

Great first post on this thread - its what its all about for me - sounds a fantastic experience..

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Smell of Wintergreen as the players entered the pitch, first taste of whiskey coffee and watching the players keep warm at half time by dancing to Tom Jones "Its Not Unusual" on a snow covered pitch - all this at Odsal circa 1965...

GB beating the Aussies at Odsal circa 1978 and being pelted with bottles by female Aussie fans as we walked round the pitch...

1996 to 2003 - Best RL years of my life - win or lose didn't give a monkeys - sheer utopia to be part of what was happening during this period.

Mal Meninga against Les Dyl in some test match.

Cas beating Wigan in their prime in a BBC televised final (cannot remember the trophy) - Wigan were the only full time club then and Cas were all part timers like the rest.. a real giant killer on the day.

Ball bouncing off David Barends head and into touch - someone in the crowd shouted "In off the black - 8 away"

Wembley weekends and all that went with them..

Great first post on this thread - its what its all about for me - sounds a fantastic experience..

'Twas the Regal Trophy final Errol and it's seven away in snooker for in off the black ;)

Edited by deluded pom?

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So, here's a nice happy thread to lead us into the weekend. For me, RL is much more than just the 80m action. It is all about the atmosphere, the build up, the celebrations (or drowning of sorrows), visiting new places, the sights, sounds, smells (thinking of Widnes here :P ), and I'm interested in people describing their favourite experiences.

I have a few that I was thinking of for this thread, Wembley last year, the WC Final in Brisbane, but possibly my favourite ever RL experience was going to Barcelona to watch Catalans v Wire in 2009.

I went over with a mate for a couple of nights, staying in a cheap hotel in the City centre, and from the moment we stepped off the plane you just knew it would be something special. Getting to the hotel and having a wander towards Ramblas it was brilliant seeing fellow Wire fans sitting in the cafe bars enjoying a cold beer in the sun. Unfortunately we had a few too many cold beers in the sun and an early night followed!

Matchday was something I will remember for the rest of my life. This time as we walked towards Ramblas we were greeted with the sight of thousands and thousands of Catalans fans wearing their colours, waving their flags, and basically takng over the Ramblas area, and this was at 9.30am!

It was amazing seeing RL fans take over the city with the locals wondering what the hell was happening! Throughout the day the strip got busier, and noisier, as thousands more fans turned up. The Wire fans took over the Irish bar and the square was filled with the flags, whilst Catalans seemed to take over everywhere else!

As the match approached we headed up to the beautiful Olympic Stadium, in what has to be one of the best settings ever for a stadium. The views were breathtaking, and it was brilliant having a pint and paella with the backdrop of the historic stadium and the view from the hills in the 30 degree heat!

Once we had found our seat (bit of a maze inside the stadium) the game thankfully lived up to our expectations (as Wire fans) as we got a hard fought win, but that was a minor distraction, as we went back out to the party outside for more beer and paellea until the Catalans fans boarded their coaches at around 11pm.

After that point it got a bit messy, with drunken exploits involving scuffling with gangs of black prostitutes (we were trying to get away from them - honest!), and more beer before retiring happy.

This for me is what RL is about, and as much as I love going to places like Whitehaven, Bradford and Hull, it was nice, just for a weekend to have a glimpse of what it would be like for RL to be a major international sport, as we were in a beautiful foreign city with RL fans everywhere.

Good thread and good post ;)

Did the locals really get into the Catalans thing?

For the record my standout moment is seeing John Henderson scoring a last minute try at Wilderspool in 86/87 season to save Leigh from relegation :P . The surging from the Leigh fans after that try was absolutely unbelieveable. It was four up/down that year, and I recall any of the bottom 7 or 8 teams could have been relegated on the final fixture of the season. Very exciting times in the top division in those days for all teams

Seeing London beat Cas in the 1999 semi to get to Wembley is the next standout moment for a game I've been to. Sheer excitement for the full 80mins. The last 10mins were the best I've ever seen, culminating in "Oh and Steele Retchless is over" :P Sadly they didn't kick on from there due in part to playing at the Stoop at the time

The Jiffy try at Wembley also stands out. Was right in front of where I was sitting :D

Skolars first ever pro game at home Vs Dewsbury was a milestone game too. Perhsp the Skolars first victory over Swinton was even memorable - I remember the Swinton fans blow-up cock being deflated :lol:

My first RL experience in France was great too - Les Cats V Salford at Narbonne about 3 years ago. Spent an evening in Canet Plage at Jaqcues Jorda's bar a couple of days before and had a great chat with him and Louis Bonnery about the old days. Sank a fair few ales too :P

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Did the locals really get into the Catalans thing?
Difficult to say really. They were really welcoming and embraced us all, whether we were from Perpignan or Warrington, but I do think that many were a bit bemused by what was happening.

The atmosphere on the Ramblas all day was very lively, and everybody got caught up with it, and apparently there were a fair few locals at the game.

Catalans are looking to stage another game there next year, and selfishly I'd love it to be Warrington, but if it is another team, I would encourage the fans to save up and get over there.

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Another fire was it?

:lol::lol::lol::lol:

that is the funniest thing I've read on here.

well played.

faith in the forum almost but not quite restored.

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I suppose my greatest RL experience was actually playing the game. Only at U17 level. But that feeling of strung up nervousness just before the ko is something I've never duplicated in my life except for standing at the altar.

AS Chris says JIffy's try was memorable. As was his try against NZ at Headingley in 1993 - I was standing on the St Michaels Lane terrace, it was raining, and I suddenly saw this blur getting bigger and bigger, it was Jiffy coming the length of the field to score.

Another eye opener - same ground - 1978, the Aussie no 11 (Reddy?) went the length of the field and no one laid a hand on him. Unbelievable! The start of Aussie dominance for me.

Fev beating 'Fax with only 11 men in the 1991 Regal Trophy was one of my all time highs.

I enjoyed us beating Bradford in 1973, and I enjoyed us beating Hull in 1983. But I reckon the Wembley experience was vastly overated. I missed the semi at Headingley in '83 (wedding) but the away tie at Saints was magic - Johnny Gilbert's try.

I've been to Old Trafford for Premiership Finals, Grand Finals and Test Matches. It's a fantastic ground - truly the Theatre of Dreams, magic atmosphere - knocks the old Wembley for six IMO. (and me a Man U hater ;) )

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1988 Challenge Cup Final - Wigan v Halifax, my first trip to Wembley.

Standing up in the end opposite the old tunnel end with hardly a enough room to breath and hearing a chap coming up the steps behind us banging one of those chest mounted large drums you normally only see on walking days that require a good six foot of clearance either side to give it a good whack!

Stunning day, stunning weekend and the sort of thing that led to many sleepless nights between the semi-final and final, them were the days!

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Agree with the others on here about the French experience, and mine would maybe be going to Catalans v Hull FC in 2006.

On my way from Carcassonne airport to Perpignan, we took a detour off the autoroute into Lezignan and visited the Moulin. Was made very welcome by the club and had a wander around the ground. I was particularly impressed with the murals along the terrace that tell the history of the club. Well worth a visit, then on to Canet for an afternoon on the beach, before a night out round Perpignan.

Next day was the game (played in Narbonne), then another night out round Perpignan.

The third day was the French Championship Final between Toulouse Olympique and SM Pia in Toulouse. Took a detour via Carcassonne to visit Stade Albert Domec and see the statue of Puig Aubert and have lunch in the citadel. At the match we had hospitality - which was fantastic - and stuck around for the post match presentations.

A cracking weekend.

More recently I had a weekend in Nantes to see France "B" v the National Conference Eagles, which was a brilliant alternative international to the England v France game in Leigh, which was played the same day. With Breton bagpipes, a noisy crowd, commemorative wine and a homebaking stand set up by the WAGs at Bretagne Nantes XIII there wasn't a dish of lobby in sight.

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My first memories are the wooden rattle and scarves being ready on the sideboard for my dad and brothers to take with them to the game - I didn't get to go then , and didn't really know where they were going

Watching the 1971 CC win over Leeds on my dads Aunty Ediths colour telly

Watching the BBC2 floodlit games on telly

Then from 1976 into the early 80s I regularly went to home games at Hilton Park with my teenage mates either railway end or in the upper stand and had the pleasure of watching John Woods, Des Drummond, Steve Donlan, Joe Walsh, Mick Stacey, Terry Bilsbury, Dave Eckersley, Mick Hogan etc etc....mainly the backs caught my eye ;)

Cups of soup to keep me warm

Lads being 'big' shouting at opposition from Widnes, Wigan etc etc....me running the opposite way when they ran towards each other

I did go to the odd game between then and 2004, mainly when my brother Steve (who was at school with a lot of the above players, and broke his jaw playing at Hilton Park for St Marys) decided to go to the odd game home and away - I remember one cup tie at Hull KR and being abused on my way out and thinking never again. I was dead proud of my brother for standing up to them and keeping an arm around me

So I got married and had my two kids ( who came and will always come before any sport or anything else) and dropped out of the RL scene. I decided in 2004 that I should never have dropped the game and with Leigh having success I suppose I bandwaggoned(sp) and bought 4 STs for the family for Christmas - I went to all the games - my ex and daughter did a few, and my lad lasted the longest. Sorry to say even he hasn't stuck at it, but he does go when I do

Separated and divorced

And so to my fav experience - nothing to do with an actual game - having logged into here and met some lovely people over the years, and via them I met Lee, first chatting on Christmas Day 2007 comparing our sad Christmas Day meals of his pizza and my crumpets ...and here I am, now living in Huddersfield with him...all via TGG

you can stop the Simon Bates music now

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