Hey y’all! This blog is gunna be a short one because I just wanted to give you guys a quick update before we leave for Melbourne tomorrow morning!

Thursday night, Sid, Nat, and I along with a couple of our other friends went to a bar called Shady Pines Saloon to celebrate the finishing of our papers and presentations that we had been working on all week.  This bar was supposedly “American themed,” with taxidermied animals cluttering the walls, dark wood and barrels everywhere, and American flag beanies on all the bartenders.  Upon speaking with some locals, we realized that this was legitimately the perception of America and American bars that Australians have.  One guy was confused as to why we hadn’t all seen real life moose on a daily basis. Like I don’t know which part of America they were referencing when making that bar, but I definitely do not live in it. This experience truly opened my eyes to foreign views on the United States and how flawed they can actually be. But I guess that’s why we’re here, to erase our own biases of Australia and their culture and to help others understand the true identity of the US. That almost got way too deep.

Friday night was one for the books. We went to our first rugby game!! It was a semi-final game in which the Sydney Roosters took on the North Queensland Cowboys. Lesson of the day: In Australia, rugby is split up into League and Union, and then there is also a completely separate but similar sport called AFL (Australian Football League).  For those of you who don’t know the rules of rugby league (I am included in this group), here’s a quick overview.

  • Each team has 13 players
  • The game is played over 80 minutes, split into two 40-minute halves
  • The ball can be moved by carrying it in the hands, or kicking it at any time during play, but under no circumstances can the ball be passed or made to go forward by the ball carrier other than by kicking the ball with the foot or shin
  • If the ball is hit or passed forward without it being kicked, it is called a “knock-on” and is a penalty which results in a scrum to the opposition (a scrum is basically when the two teams go head to head and push each other around a lot and then somehow someone ends up with the ball)
  • Each team has 5 downs to attempt to score
  • A try, comparable to a touchdown in football, is worth 4 points and is only awarded if a player touches the ball to the ground on the opponent’s try area
  • A conversion is worth 2 points and is kicked from the line in the field where the try was scored. (For this reason you want to try to place the ball on the ground in the middle of the try-area instead of near the sideline so that you have a better angle to score a conversion)
  • A drop goal, like a field goal, is worth 1 point
There are slight differences in rules between League and Union but they are, for the most part, the same game. Thank you Google for all of that above information. Your learning for today is done.
Anyways, rugby is awesome! We got to the game a little early and were able to catch almost all of the game that was being played before the Roosters took the field. The teams definitely weren’t professionally ranked but it was still pretty awesome. Oh and did I mention that we got seats like four rows back from the field? Close enough to hear all that skin on skin contact. Yum.  Then the Roosters came out to warm up and just wow. Disregard all the rules I just told you because apparently the only thing rugby players need to know how to do is have MASSIVE thighs. Like thighs bigger than my waist that probably weight 65 pounds alone. This is not an exaggeration. After I got over the size of their legs, the game was actually pretty intriguing. We saw lots of injuries and blood and players using other players as steps so that they could jump higher than anyone else. At the half, the Roosters were dominating the Cowboys 30-12. Everyone was feeling good and we were confident that the Roosters were going to move on to the finals. But the Cowboys must have been hiding Coach Eric Taylor in their locker room because they came out looking like a different team. They scored 18 points, tying the game with 23 minutes remaining. The game went back and forth with neither team scoring until the Roosters kicked a 1 point drop goal in the 76th minute. We went crazy! I had never even heard of the Sydney Roosters until two days ago but that night, I was their biggest fan. Bandwagoning at its finest. The Roosters ended up winning 31-30 and will play for the championship in a couple weeks. Go Roosters!
 Please ignore the fact that I look giant in this picture

 

BUT the best part of the night was definitely when some fan got so excited that the Roosters won that he stormed the field carrying one of the giant flags that cheerleaders usually carry. This guy got WRECKED by the security guards. One guard drop kicked the guy while two others tackled him to the ground. Definitely one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Around the same time, a fight broke out between a Roosters fan and a Cowboys fan in the seats behind us and it got pretty violent. Aussies are very passionate about their rugby.

After the game I went home and went to bed which was probably a good decision since I went to the doctor today and found out that I have a sinus infection, yay.  Oh well. At least my American antibodies will soon have some Aussie friends.

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