June 18, 2008

State of Origin, Lymington style!

While State of Origin in Sydney usually involves either a) cramming onto public transport and making our way to ANZ Stadium (formerly Telstra Stadium), or b) eating take-away pizza from Sapori on the couch. This year, our experience has been a little, er, different.

Our first dilemma, where to watch it? While we have Sky TV where we are staying at the moment, we don't have Setanta, the subscription sports channel which shows stuff like rugby league, union and AFL. After ringing around numerous pubs in Lymington, trying to find one that was open at 11am and subscribed to Setanta, we finally hit the jackpot with the Borough Arms.

So there we were, sitting in an empty pub at 11am, drinking beer and cider and eating sausage rolls, watching the all-too-familiar Channel Nine coverage of this year's series. With no-one but the barmaid in sight, cheering and shouting was kept to a minimum. A few people straggled in towards full-time. One punter tried telling us all about how his friend goes for the Bulldogs, we feigned minimal interest until he left us alone.

Two-and-a-half pints and a crushing Queensland victory later, we were out the door. There was little time to celebrate, with Craig getting changed in the pub carpark and quickly making his way to Our Lady and St Joseph Primary School for an afternoon of bratty kids.

There was no media coverage, no watercooler talk and not a single guernsey in sight. Just a couple of Aussies in an empty English pub.