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Crowds

Yesterday, I went to Twickenham to watch England play Australia in the rugby. It wasn’t a great game and it definitely wasn’t cheap. England won, but my frustrations with selection and tactics of the Jones era persist.

Being in a stadium with almost 82,000 people felt a little weird with a pandemic still at large. I remained masked up for most of it and was certainly in the considerable minority for this amongst the rest of the crowd.

But it was good to experience the roar of crowd in a stadium. There’s nothing that really compares with that. Well, there are recordings. But they’re not the same thing.

The worst thing about the entire experience was getting the train back after the game. The police had been holding back the crowds from entering the train station, so a good couple of hundred people were queuing up.

Then police opened the barriers and through the crowd went to the station, slowly moving on it as people got on the available trains.

Surrounded by hundreds of people, many of which drunk and singing, isn’t something I’d enjoy when sober pre-Covid. But that feeling during a global pandemic was horrendous. I am grateful that it was a rugby crowd and not a football one, which would almost certainly be messier.

And then it was back to my small and grotty room in a Travelodge in West London, which was also ridiculously expensive.

Rubbish game and extortionate prices aside, I’m glad I went – provided I haven’t picked up Covid, that is. Either way, I’ll have still paid a heavy price.

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