The rugby world cup – more to come from an amazing spectacle.
It’s all rugby at the moment, big chaps careering around the pitch, colliding and staking their claim on the day. I have to say I’m hooked after only covering a few matches so far, and I look forward to covering a few more.
Getting on the pitch isn’t as easy. As usual, there are many passes and tags to pick up and deposit about you. Once the waft of ready-rub hits you pitch-side you know there should be an epic battle to come. I have been in Gloucester for the Scotland v Japan game and more recently the Argentina v Georgia matches. I am no rugby commentator so I’ll spare you the name dropping.
Scotland’s match was much hyped as the recent resurgence of Japan (against favourites South Africa) had created an atmosphere and hope with the Japanese fans. It was all very polite outside the stadium with a few beer assisted hugs between fans before the kick off.
When the whistle blew, both teams sprang in to action rapidly, Scotland attack came in my direction for the first half, all very good, but the Japanese resistance was strong. Sod’s law intervened in the second half and all the trys were at the other end. The Scotland attack was all the stronger and although the Japan side were playing well they looked tired, no shame, but on the day Scotland came out best.
Argentina v Georgia was a few days later and an altogether more relaxed affair. I arrived stupidly early (like I thought I had at the last game) and it was quiet at the ground. The run up to the last fixture had been manic in the media but this one was a quieter event. That was until the fans got into the seats and it all took off.
The game was brilliant, true, it seemed the Argentinian fans outnumbered the Georgia fans 8-1, but both were very vocal. The Argentinians steamrollered a very proud Georgian team scoring try after try – and best for me, they were all at my end. Heaven sent! True, the usual photographer’s bane as you pan with the action is a potential great shot unfolding in front of your eyes only to find it ends abruptly with a large mass (or ass!!) blotting out the entire scene, just as the crucial action occurs. But luckily the team warmed up in front of us on the side lines and the majority of shots were clear.
With the contest hotting up I think the remaining matches have great things to offer. So far it’s been dry, preferable to the cold autumn rain drizzling down your neck during the match, reminding you that you are not sitting at home watching on the TV!
All pictures copyright Neil Munns/EPA – available from http://www.epa.eu/webgate. If you are looking for a commercial photographer, get in touch.