Blair_A_9100411You know what they say, when an opportunity rears it’s head, grab it.

I had the exciting opportunity to go the the 2009 NRL grand final last night. Since I’ve been getting some tremendous information about the game from a couple of very knowledgeable sources all season, it was just a little bit more exciting for a novice like me.

This year demand was high and tickets were scarce and actually the event was sold out. In this situation it pays to have friends in high places and I really wanted to go. Part of this was fueled by having had a awesome time last week watching the semi final with Parramatta Eels vs Canterbury Bulldogs. Very happily, I got to the final.

I seem to have been spending a lot of time at the ANZ stadium lately, and being the risk taker that I am, suggested to my friend we take the chance and go without prebooking parking. No prebooked parking means parking in *sigh P5, so you take a shuttle bus to the ground. The queue at the bus stop revealed that two costumes were being donned on the night, the Parramatta one of yellow and blue and the Melbourne Storm a more tasteful purple and black.
Karen- bootsSince I am Switzerland; I wore my silver boots.

Whoever we were, we all looked forward to a good game and that’s exactly what we got!

Once the bus shuttled to the entrance of the stadium the atmosphere hit me. The buzz and the noise filled the air and I knew this was a different game to the one I had seen just last week. All of Sydney were behind the Parramatta Eels while their opponents the talented mexicans behind the Melbourne Storm.

Finding our seats, our eyes are glued to the centre of the ground where the band Wolfmother are belting out “Joker and a Thief”. It was all pretty exciting and ever practical Karen was impressed with the fold-out take-away stage. Then, viewing the video footage of what seemed to be a random helicopter, an army black hawk hurtled towards the stadium and a pilot waved and dropped out the games ball.

The crowd were so noisy, it was hard to hear each other but it all added to the tremendous atomosphere of the record breaking 82,000 Rugby League fans enjoying the spectacle.

Sydney 2109The eels had won many of their last games but were on taking on a very experienced team who have won the last three grand finals and were looking determined to take the honours.

This being my second football experience, I loved it more than ever and the flow of the game was becoming clearer to me now. The fans are right behind their team and disappointingly for many, by half time the eels were not looking to be competitive enough.

Nevertheless, half time brought much excitement with more entertainment and a demonstration of dancing girls by both clubs. Pffft, I did notice my friend was very entertained, hmmm what’s the matter with my pom poms?

Anyway, the second half starts and the Storm score again but the underdog came back and the Eels were fighting their way back into the game. It could have been a fairytale ending but the athletism and speed of Ingis and Slater leave the Eels fans in disbelief. There were lots of people leaving and when the hooter sounded my friend tried to drag me out too but I wanted to see the presentation and the speeches as the evening finished to bring the whole event to a completion.

Shuttling back to the outer P5 car park another exciting event began called “Find where you parked your car”?
This event was a 40 minute exercise *bah. But I didn’t mind really even though it rained and my hair got trashed, because it was such a tremendous all-round experience.