Hope & Expectation

My tour reached new heights yesterday....no, we didn't make the top of the mountain till today (more of a hill really!), but spent most of the afternoon and evening in the company of all of The Lions. I still find myself star struck on regular occasions like stepping into a lift with Alan WJ and Tommy Bowe, and even as a 6'2" 17 Stone lardy boy feeling firstly dwarfed and secondly tongue tied like a blushing schoolboy! [more]

Hope & Expectation

My tour reached new heights yesterday….no, we didn’t make the top of the mountain till today (more of a hill really!), but spent most of the afternoon and evening in the company of all of The Lions. I still find myself star struck on regular occasions like stepping into a lift with Alan WJ and Tommy Bowe, and even as a 6’2" 17 Stone lardy boy feeling firstly dwarfed and secondly tongue tied like a blushing schoolboy!

Some of the touring party I am with have become expert stalkers and have avidly pursued their prey with felt tip pens in hand. I must say it has shown me the competitive side that the supporters have and I think that is coming from the aura that the boys give off.

Watching the team head out to training is still one of those goose bump moments as you can smell the desire to make it right and level the series on Saturday in the rugby heartland of Pretoria.

There is a genuine feeling from all of the locals I have met in Cape Town that we can win at Loftus, and I think that comes from a few different factors. Primarily the Cape folks are not the Afrikaners from up North so there is an internal rivalry.  Then there is also the fact that they want this to go to the wire and have the decider in Jo’berg, and finally they are genuinely afraid that The Lions will have their deserved luck and take those chances that didn’t quite happen in the first test through no real fault of their own.

I have truly hit full on tour mode now, the constant banter and beers, the genuine bond that is starting to form, the support you see people offering each other who only 7 days ago were complete strangers – it’s microscopic of how the team must be too.  We believe, and believe me that as supporters we are going to make that pretty clear come Saturday at Loftus. Everyone agrees that to come here to the home of the Blue Bulls, fanatical rugby supporters who don’t give an inch, and rugby gods willing, come away with a win will tear the heart from the Boks and leave it open for the series win.

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Overheard today was some of the excellent form the supporters are showing.  On arrival in Jo’berg the feisty Bok pointed out how on paper the Springboks could beat The Lions easily, to which the Irish way responded by reminding him that we were playing on grass, not paper….old but lovely and sharp….perhaps a bit like how we should play on this day of reckoning.

Did I tell you the one about the……..

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