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Magners League: Leinster at Edinburgh

27 September 2009 No Comment

After the Hearts match I walked for 15 minutes over to Murrayfield. I have never attended two games within such a close proximity to one another. On my way back, I passed Roseburn Bar which is actually a Murrayfield pub more than a Tynecastle Stadium pub.

Obtaining Tickets
Rather than go to the pub I decided to check out how much tickets were at the ticket center. Tickets for the game were £20 for an adult ticket. However, since I had my student id I could pay £10 for a student ticket. Since beating £10 for a ticket takes a lot of work, unless you get lucky and receive a free one, I decided to buy the ticket rather than wander around the stadium.

Before The Game
Rather than enter the stadium immediately I decided to sit in the park directly outside the stadium. One of the most relaxing parts of Europe is sitting in a park as the sun sets. You do not get the opportunity often so take advantage of the opportunity when it presents itself. After 30 minutes of sitting in the park I decided to enter the stadium.

Just before the game was about to begin, one of the Edinburgh employees came by my section and asked a group of people if they wanted to participate in a halftime promotion on the field. The row of people said no, so I perked up and said I would do it. He said I was in and then selected one more fan from the same area.

Halftime
About five minutes before halftime the other fan (on a rugby tour from Australia) and I met the Edinburgh employee at the fence to the field of Murraryfield. He led us onto the field and we walked to mid-field on the sidelines. We were going to be apart of the halftime promotion – catching rugby balls at mid-field. The balls would be kicked from one of the Edinburgh players. The competition seemed simple enough. I have seen these in-game promotions before.

I was first up. The Australian was second. Steve Jones was kicking to me. Here we go:

Ball #1 (me): Ball was kicked relatively high but I caught it. Ahead 1-0.
Ball #2 (Australian): Ball was kicked higher than mine and the Australian dropped it. Still ahead 1-0.
Ball #3 (me): Ball was kicked shorter than the first ball so I ran up for it and the ball went right through my arms. Still ahead 1-0.
Ball #4 (Australian): Ball was kicked similar to my first catch, but the ball went right through the Australian’s arms. Still ahead 1-0.
Ball #5 (me): I could clinch the win catching this ball. The ball was kicked directly to me in the air and I caught it as I dropped to one knee. I’m ahead 2-0 and have clinched the win!
Ball #6 (Australian): He catches the ball kicked to him and is just happy he caught one. I still win 2-1.

I won the contest and two tickets to the Scotland vs. Fiji rugby match on Saturday, November 14. I will not be able to attend but decided I can either sell the tickets on eBay or give them to one of the Arsenal boys.

The Game
Even though only one try was scored between both teams, the game down to the wire as the lead changed twice within the last two minutes of regulation. With Edinburgh down 18-13, Edinburgh’s place-kicker, Chris Paterson, kicked two penalties at the 71st and 79th minute to take a 19-18 lead. However, Leinster’s Jonathan Sexton drop kicked for the lead 21-19 as time was winding down. That did not stop Edinburgh as Leinster Lion Jamie Heaslip gave away a penalty at midfield to give Edinburgh one last shot at winning the game. But Paterson missed the injury time penalty and Leinster ended up defeating Edinburgh 21-19 – a pretty exciting finish.

Post Game
Given the fact I had barely eaten anything all day (the lines were long for food in the stadium), I went to the restaurant at the Murrayfield hotel after the game. For £12.50 you could order a two course meal. Also, I should have considered staying here if I knew the hotel existed. The location was perfect for attending a game at either Murrayfield or Tynecastle Stadium and I could have relaxed in my room in between the games.

After walking back to the city center, I went to my hostel to “check in.” I arrived at my room at the same time my new roommates happened to be coming back from the rugby match. My roommates were three Germans who had flown to Edinburgh for the weekend. Rather than going to sleep as I had originally planned, I went out with them since I had not met anyone on the trip to this point. We started out by heading to pubs that were listed in Let’s Go. The Zorn was closest but too hot so we left. Next was Three Sisters which had a great outdoor beer garden so we stayed. After that we hit up Scotman’s Lounge and The Mitre (since they stayed open until 1:30 am).

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