I’ve been getting quite into the rugby lately. It’s the wrong kind of rugby, obviously, and the whole “line up and throw the ball in” thing still confuses me a bit, but it’s good fun to watch down the pub and there’s a good chance that France might win the tournament. I got chatting to a woman during the France v. Ireland match who mentioned that there was going to be a live match between the Italian and French under-20s teams in Grenoble, and that it was free for women (!), so of course I said yes when she offered to get me a ticket.
Fast-forward a few weeks and I’d assumed that the opportunity had evaporated, like so many pub-based opportunities, but two days ago I got an email saying if I wanted my ticket for the Friday night match I should be in a particular square at 1915. So of course I said “Oui merci!”. But… upon arriving at the square, I discovered that it was full of people, many of whom were under 10. I hovered on the fringes of the crowd for a bit, straining to see if there was anyone I recognised (I had, of course, forgotten the woman’s name by now…) and generally played the lost English person. Eventually she spotted me and handed over the ticket, and we all moved off in convoy towards the ground. It turns out that all the local Rugby clubs had also been given free tickets and that’s who I was with – a junior rugby club. Oh my god can those children make a lot of noise. Good fun though. Here’s a video of some of the march to the stade des alpes – warning, you probably want to turn the sound down:
The pre-match entertainment included Les Pompom Girls du Stade des Alpes, a hugely irritating DJ bloke, and a brass band. DJ bloke came on to annoy us all at half time too. The match itself was a bit scrappy – lots of silly mistakes – but that’s to be expected from the under-20s teams I guess.