Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 02/12/2012

… sweet chariot.


Brum Brum…, originally uploaded by http://andrewskelton.net.

It would appear, once onboard the train from Waterloo to Twickenham that all 80,000 fans have tried to crush themselves into our carriage alone. The talk, needless to say, is of the impending match, though there’s an air of reservation about England’s final match, having been paired up against the mighty All Blacks and might, in this instance, isn’t too strong a word. This team has remained unbeaten over 20 test matches, in fact the last time England beat the New Zealand team was in 2003 and then by only the narrowest of margins.

After what seems an age, especially in such a confined space, we arrive at Twickenham railway station, and as the door on the carriage retract we spill out onto the platform grateful for the cold fresh air that hits us after the stuffiness of the train. The crowd snakes along the concourse, up over bridges and down roads, like rainforest ants on the march, our goal the imposing concrete edifice that is rugby unions’ National Stadium. Enterprising locals have set up stalls along where we’re walking, selling all manner of comestibles whose scents waft across the great throng tempting the hungry in. The misgivings about our opponents seem to fall away the closer we get to the stadium and bonhomme seems to be suffusing out everyone creating an atmosphere that Russ Abbot could only sing about.

After taking out a mortgage to pay for a pint of beer, it’s time to take our seats and as the impressive pyrotechnics explode, the players take to the pitch… this is going to be exciting.. I can feel it in my bones.

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