Friday, 20 May 2016

24 hours in Lyon ..... part1

I have already shared the 2nd half of my 24 hours in Lyon with some culture and food, the first half was a little different and evolved around a game of rugby. My trip was planned to attend the European Champions Cup Final between Saracens and French team Racing Metro.
This was Saracens 2nd time reaching the Final of this championship, having lost to Toulon in Cardiff at the last final, so there was much to play for in France. When Saracens won their semi-final I was on the internet immediately booking tickets for Eurostar and the game as I knew with Racing metro securing the other spot it would be incredibly popular. This game would also allow me to see one of my rugby hero's Dan Carter who now plays fly half for Racing after leaving New Zealand and the All Blacks after the world cup.
With the weather a mixture of sunshine and heavy showers it would make for a greasy game. The game was being held at the newly built Stade de Lyon stadium on the outskirts of the town. The main public transport to and from the ground is via tram, which was much fun and a first for me to travel to a from a rugby game in. One of the things that I noticed lots when I was travelling to and around Lyon is the poppies dotted everywhere. I saw lots from the Eurostar as I travelled across France and it really struck a chord to see them. There were several blooming around the ground which many fans commented on as we walked to the game.
I arrived at the game early as I had been told to expect lengthy security checks and they didn’t lie, aside from the Olympics this was the lengthiest checks that I had ever had at a game; including a full body pat down. Arriving at the game early allowed me to see Jonny Wilkinson being interviewed by Will Greenwood and the squads warming up between the very heavy rain showers. This also allowed me to spend lots of time gazing at Dan Carter and his thighs as Racing were warming up near to where I was sitting!.
Having purchased my ticket from the French ticketmaster I found myself surrounded by Racing fans who were very friendly and not too hostile as the game commenced!
With a fanfare of fireworks the game kicked off at 5.30 to a huge roar from the crowd. The ground was a sea of blue with pockets of red and black for the Saracens fans.

 From previous experience final games are usually tight fought contests, with neither side wanting to take too many chances, thus preventing conceding penalties and points. This game was much of that with both teams holding tight to the ball and points being gained from penalty kicks instead of trys.
All points scored by Sarries coming off of the boot of Own Farrell. Racing always seemed to be on the back foot and were penalised a number of times. With heavy rain during the warm-up hour it made for a slippery and greasy game with the ball being lost by both teams several times.
 2nd half saw Racing attempt a comeback and at one point with minutes to go I thought that they may push a try across the line, however the Sarries boys held their nerve and defence and were crowned champions as the final whistle blew.
Huge celebrations took place as the Champions cup was presented and red & black flags waved around the stadium to roars of "Sarries". Here are some images from the game and the after celebrations.

The atmosphere was amazing and I am so glad that I made the journey from home to Lyon to watch the game, I got to see so many Rugby heroes: Jonny Wilkinson, Dan Carter and Sarries lift the Champions cup a bit of a dream weekend for a Rugby girl.

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Friday, 20 May 2016

24 hours in Lyon ..... part1

I have already shared the 2nd half of my 24 hours in Lyon with some culture and food, the first half was a little different and evolved around a game of rugby. My trip was planned to attend the European Champions Cup Final between Saracens and French team Racing Metro.
This was Saracens 2nd time reaching the Final of this championship, having lost to Toulon in Cardiff at the last final, so there was much to play for in France. When Saracens won their semi-final I was on the internet immediately booking tickets for Eurostar and the game as I knew with Racing metro securing the other spot it would be incredibly popular. This game would also allow me to see one of my rugby hero's Dan Carter who now plays fly half for Racing after leaving New Zealand and the All Blacks after the world cup.
With the weather a mixture of sunshine and heavy showers it would make for a greasy game. The game was being held at the newly built Stade de Lyon stadium on the outskirts of the town. The main public transport to and from the ground is via tram, which was much fun and a first for me to travel to a from a rugby game in. One of the things that I noticed lots when I was travelling to and around Lyon is the poppies dotted everywhere. I saw lots from the Eurostar as I travelled across France and it really struck a chord to see them. There were several blooming around the ground which many fans commented on as we walked to the game.
I arrived at the game early as I had been told to expect lengthy security checks and they didn’t lie, aside from the Olympics this was the lengthiest checks that I had ever had at a game; including a full body pat down. Arriving at the game early allowed me to see Jonny Wilkinson being interviewed by Will Greenwood and the squads warming up between the very heavy rain showers. This also allowed me to spend lots of time gazing at Dan Carter and his thighs as Racing were warming up near to where I was sitting!.
Having purchased my ticket from the French ticketmaster I found myself surrounded by Racing fans who were very friendly and not too hostile as the game commenced!
With a fanfare of fireworks the game kicked off at 5.30 to a huge roar from the crowd. The ground was a sea of blue with pockets of red and black for the Saracens fans.

 From previous experience final games are usually tight fought contests, with neither side wanting to take too many chances, thus preventing conceding penalties and points. This game was much of that with both teams holding tight to the ball and points being gained from penalty kicks instead of trys.
All points scored by Sarries coming off of the boot of Own Farrell. Racing always seemed to be on the back foot and were penalised a number of times. With heavy rain during the warm-up hour it made for a slippery and greasy game with the ball being lost by both teams several times.
 2nd half saw Racing attempt a comeback and at one point with minutes to go I thought that they may push a try across the line, however the Sarries boys held their nerve and defence and were crowned champions as the final whistle blew.
Huge celebrations took place as the Champions cup was presented and red & black flags waved around the stadium to roars of "Sarries". Here are some images from the game and the after celebrations.

The atmosphere was amazing and I am so glad that I made the journey from home to Lyon to watch the game, I got to see so many Rugby heroes: Jonny Wilkinson, Dan Carter and Sarries lift the Champions cup a bit of a dream weekend for a Rugby girl.

No comments: